From: Exit Staff
Legislative Council Vote to Extend Judicial Vetting in Albania

The Legislative Council of the Assembly has voted in favour of extending the terms of Albania’s vetting institutions, on Friday (21 January).

To extend the current mandate which has already expired, changes to the constitution are required. This would seek to extend the term of the vetting by the Independent Qualification Commission and Public Commissioners by another three years.

In the vote, all members of the Socialist Party voted in favour of the extension while LSI MP Erisa Xhixho voted against. The Democratic Party did not attend the vote and are yet to take an official public position.

Nevertheless, Parliament’s Speaker Lindita Nikolla told BIRN that the initiative’s passing will not be finalised until the PD votes as well, noting constitutional changes required a qualified majority.

The PD previously said they would only agree to the extending of the vetting mandate if politicians were vetted as well. The PS has so far refused to consider such measures, but it is still being discussed in the Legislative Council.

To date, just over half of the judges and prosecutors due to be vetted have passed through the process. Of those, around 50% have been dismissed or resigned. This rendered the Constitutional Court and High Court practically nonfunctional for over a year. While both are now operational, backlogs in cases total tens of thousands.