As opposition is poised to boycott the June 18th elections, Socialist Party (PS), Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) and 15 other parties, most of them part of the governing coalitions, will compete against each-other. Chances are that PS will occupy an unprecedented number of seats in the next parliament.
If we assume that all the competing parties will receive the same number of votes they received in 2013 elections, the 140 seats will be distributed as shown in the following figure:
This means that PS will not only have a government forming majority, but it will be able to pass any legislation it wishes, including changing the Constitution.
This means that the socialist majority would be able to pass all the acts that did it failed to enact during the past four years, because it did they were not supported by their governing coalition partners, or because they were not signed by the President.
Some of these laws are:
- The Waste Import Law. This law was proposed by a group of socialist MPs and was passed by the parliament on September 22, 2016, with 63 votes in favour. Enactment of the law was anticipated by daily protests by activists and citizens. In October, President Nishani refused to decree the law and returned it to the Parliament. Since then, in violation of legal procedures, the parliament has not yet reconsidered the law. It is likely that majority’s inaction is out of concern not to provoke public reactions prior to the June elections.
- Article 449 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In April 2017, the parliament changed the Article 449 of the Code in order to forbid reopening of court decided cases to worsen a defendant’s position, despite of new evidence. Such change caused public outrage and was not decreed President Nishani.
- New law on online comments. Parliament has draftd a new law which forces owners of online news portals to “delete any comment that violates a person’s honor, personality, or reputation”. The law was originally proposed by the democrat MP Majlinda Bregu, who later withdrew it. This proposal prompted immediate reactions from public opinion and journalists, who considered it an attempt to censor the media and limit freedom of speech.