Parliament Set for First Round in Presidential Elections

Today at 18:00 Parliament will hold the first round of voting for the new president. Current President Bujar Nishani’s mandate will end on July 24.

So far, no official candidate has been proposed by the government, while President Nishani has indicated that he is available for a second term if there were sufficient support in Parliament. As the opposition is boycotting Parliament, this appears unlikely.

According to the Constitution, presidential candidates can be proposed by a group of at least 20 deputies. In the first three rounds a candidate needs 84 votes, in the fourth and fifth a simple majority of 71. In case of more than two candidates, the fifth round is a run-off between the two candidates who won the most votes in the fourth round.

Considering the opposition boycott, it is unlikely that any candidate will be elected in the first three rounds.

The vote of today will be successful even if no candidate is proposed.

Subsequent voting rounds will have to held no less than 7 days after the previous round, which implies that the next president will have been elected by the end of next month at the latest.