KQZ Chair Biba Opposes Opposition Complaint

Central Election Commission (KQZ) Chair Denar Biba declared today that the Environmental Agrarian Party (PAA) does not have the right the file a complaint at the Electoral College.

Responding on Facebook to the PAA’s request to invalidate the decision of the KQZ to accept the candidate lists of political parties on April 29, Biba explained that because the PAA is not an electoral subject it does not have the right to direct itself to the Electoral College.

Biba also spoke out against the claims of the opposition that the registration deadline ought to have been April 28 and that the decision of the KQZ to set it at April 29 was illegal:

The PAA is not allowed to file a complaint at the Electoral College, because only “electoral subjects” have to right to complain and such are only those who present a candidate list.

It is a globally known fact that the PAA, while it has filed a request at the KQZ to be registered for the parliamentary elections on June 18, has subsequently filed a request to be deregistered and did not present a candidate list either before or on April 29, 2017, which was the final deadline envisioned by the Electoral Code, calculated publicly according to the formula used at least since the elections of 2009.

In his explanation, Biba cites art. 63(1) of the Electoral Code, which states:

An electoral subject is a political party or coalition of political parties which present a candidate list according to the rules determined in this code.

The PAA is the only party from the opposition that registered to participate in the elections, before the opposition had taken the decision to boycott them. Afterward, PAA leader Agron Duka filed a request at the KQZ to be deregistered, which has never been reviewed by the KQZ.

However, there seems to be an opening in the law that would allow the PAA to be considered an electoral subject even though it did not present a candidate list. Art. 64(1) of the Electoral Code states:

Any political party has to present a request to be registered as electoral subject at the KQZ no later than 70 days before the election date.

So the Electoral Code leaves an opening for the interpretation of both Biba and the opposition.

Also in terms of the opposition’s complaint, the Electoral Code is ambiguous. Art. 67 states:

A political party that has been registered at the KQZ as electoral subject for the parliamentary elections deposits at the KQZ the list of its candidates for each electoral zone no later than 50 dates before the elections.

The final phrase is unclear as to whether the election day itself ought to be included in the calculation of the fifty days. Biba argues that it should, the opposition that it shouldn’t.

Independent of Biba’s private comments, the Electoral College will pass a verdict on the complaint of the PAA within ten days.