Election Commission Rejects Presidential Decree to Cancel Elections

The 4 members of the Central Election Commission (KQZ) of Albania appointed by the governing Socialist Party (PS) stated that they will not comply with the President’s decree that cancelled the June 30 local election.

The PS holds the majority of the 7-member election commission of Albania.

The statement seems to show that the KQZ is taking up the role of a court in adjudicating the validity of a presidential decree.

The KQZ meeting took place without the participation of its chairperson, Klement Zguri, who stated that the commission has no power to adjudicate on a presidential decree.

“I think the KQZ must comply with such a document, a decree. I do not want to adjudicate on the power of the President. I am not the Constitutional Court which could rule whether or not the decree of the President is lawful. […] The President’s decree is compulsory and we must comply,” Zguri stated.

Contrarily, the deputy chair of KQZ, Denar Biba, stated that the commission will proceed with organizing the June 30th local election.

“The president consciously refuses to comply with a constitutional obligation. The absolutely invalid administrative act [President’s decree to cancel the election] is to be considered non-existent,” Biba stated.

He added that the Constitution compelled the KQZ to organize the June 30 local election:

“In my assessment, the KQZ has an obligation to continue with organizing the June 30 election. As stipulated in the Constitution, the KQZ has the obligation – not an option –  we have an obligation to proceed with the work in order to have Albanians vote for their local representatives.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Edi Rama also rejected President Ilir Meta’s decision to cancel the June 30 election in Albania. Rama stated that his Socialist Party will start procedures in parliament to dismiss the president.