President Nishani: I Will Not Decree Art. 449

During an interview with Dritan Hila of Ora News, President Bujar Nishani confirmed that he will not decree the amendment t0 art. 449 of the Criminal Procedural Code, which was recently approved by Parliament. The amendment led to protests from civil society, calling upon the President to withhold his approval of the law, which was passed as part of the judicial reform.

According to the President:

We need to very deeply investigate the activity of organized crime, especially serious criminal events. For me, [art. 449] is completely unjust, unreasoned, and without argument. […] The President does not have the power to change the law, but will not decree it.

President Nishani also addressed the current political crisis in the country, calling upon the government and the opposition to “discuss whether to postpone the elections.”

If the opposition enters the elections, we will technically have elections but we won’t have institutions with legitimacy after the elections.

He also expressed his worries about the OSCE warning about criminal drugs money influencing the electoral process, and the “strong politicization” of the State Police under former Minister of Interior Affairs Saimir Tahiri.

As regards the electoral process for the next President, which is supposed to take office on July 25, President Nishani expressed the hope that a consensus candidate can be found, while also stating that he would be available for a second term, should this be supported by a majority of Parliament.