A Guide to the Albanian Electoral Reform Issue

The socialist majority, the extra-parliamentary opposition and the parliamentary opposition have each made proposals for opening the lists of candidates for deputies and the way of organizing the coalitions. 

But where do their proposals differ and how do they differ from each other?

All political representatives, PD, LSI, PS, Democrat Group and Rudina Hajdari agree on respecting gender quotas, citizens to vote only one party and one candidate and in case more than one candidate votes, the vote passes to the party .

The main difference between the proposals is the listing of the candidates for deputy in the lists submitted to the CEC:

The PS and the Democratic Group propose the ranking of candidates for MP as decided by the party chairman.

According to the PS proposal, the person who receives more preferential votes than the party itself has the right to replace the last person on the party list.

The Democratic Group proposes one-third of the list be closed, below this the candidates are ranked according to the number of preferred votes.

PD, LSI and Rudina Hajdari propose the ranking of candidates in alphabetical order and rearrangement according to the number of preferred votes received by voters.

The system proposed by the PS and the Democratic Group is a closed list system and offers very few opportunities for a person voted by voters to be elected MP.

The system proposed by PD, LSI and Rudina Hajdari is a system with 100 percent open lists. Deputies are elected based on the preferred vote they receive.

The recent proposal from the PD and LSI for open lists means that the deadline for the approval of amendments to the electoral code is likely to be delayed indefinitely. Previously, the Law Commission had designated 30 Septemer as the deadline to receive the final draft of the amendments, reflecting the 30 July Constitutional amendments.

But with proposals on the table, the Socialist Party parliamentary majority cannot pass it to the proposal to the Law Commission without prior discussion and the proposal of the united opposition which must be submitted one day prior.

The date when the amendments to the Electoral Code for lists and colations will be voted in parliament will depend on the agreement of all parties, on the issues which are still unresolved. They are; the opening of lists, the coalition formula, and the electoral threshold.

Once the parties agree on which proposal to accept, the draft will be discussed in the Law Commission and if deemed necessary by the commission members, changes will be made.

After these discussions, the draft goes to the assembly for approval.

To approve the amendments to the Electoral Code, 84 votes are required.