Democratic Party: Election Commission Pandering to Government by Ignoring Presidential Decree

Opposition Democratic Party (PD) accused Albania’s Central Election Commission of pandering to Prime Minister Edi Rama by ignoring the presidential decree on October 13 local elections.

The PD stated in a press release today that the said President’s decree is “the only act with constitutional power” regarding local elections.

Three opposition parties deposited their request to be registered for the October 13 local elections at the KQZ. Today is the deadline for depositing such requests, as the Electoral Code stipulates that electoral subjects must file for registration at least 70 days before the election date.

In what appeared to be a refusal of the presidential decree, four members of the KQZ, allied with the Socialist Party, boycotted a meeting to review opposition parties’ requests to register for October 13 local elections. Only chairman Klement Zguri was present during the meeting on August 3.

The KQZ also refused to implement another decree of President Meta to cancel the June 30 local elections. As a result, the governing Socialist Party won uncontested in all 61 municipalities across the country.

The Democratic Party emphasized today that those who don’t comply with the President’s decisions will be held legally responsible. They called on the KQZ to organize local elections as this is an “indisputable and unavoidable obligation” for this institution.

On the other hand, during a meeting with opposition supporters in Krujë, PD leader Lulzim Basha stated that “no free elections can take place with Edi Rama as Prime Minister”.

Basha repeated the accusations against the government rigging the previous elections in collusion with criminal groups. He argued that elections are “about standards, not about dates”, adding that no free and fair elections could take place while those involved in the Albanian Electiongate are still free and exercising political power.