The Albanian Parliament will vote on February 10 on whether to amend its Constitution to extend the mandate of its judicial vetting bodies.
As part of Albania’s far-reaching justice reform, two commissions have been tasked with vetting all judges and prosecutors. Their mandates expire in June 2022, but only half of the country’s magistrates have gone through the process.
The Socialist majority in Parliament requests that their mandates be extended for another two years, with the support of the International Monitoring Operations (ONM) and the EU’s Ambassador in Albania.
The Venice Commission also suggested that constitutional amendments to extend the expiring mandate of judicial vetting bodies should be approved.
If Parliament does not approve the extension of their mandate, then the High Judicial Council will vet the remaining magistrates.
The vote hangs in the balance as constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority. At the moment, it is not clear how the MPs of the main opposition party, the Democratic Party, will be voting.
Originally, the PD had tried to use its vote to leverage its own agenda, requesting the approval of their own constitutional amendments to change the current electoral system, and to enact a vetting process for MPs and other high-ranking politicians.
However, an internal strife between ex Prime Minister Sali Berisha and current formal leader Lulzim Basha could split how MPs vote on this matter next week.