Várhelyi discusses electoral reform with Albania’s opposition as parties reach some agreements

Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi; Photo: European Union

TIRANA – European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enalrgement Olivér Várhelyi tweeted yesterday that he talked with the opposition leader Lulzim Basha and MP Rudina Hajdari, co-chair of the Ad-hoc parliamentary committee on electoral reform, urging that the conclusion is reached without further delay, in line with the Council conclusions from March.

The discussions bore some fruit this week, as the parties agreed on three issues regarding the electoral reform: gender quota in party MP candidate list, party financing and shortening electoral period, Exit reports.

Elections will now be held during one of the Sundays between April 15 to May 15 and October 15 to November 15 while party MP lists will include a minimum of 30 percent women. Representatives of the parties also agreed that parties will be financed with state funds and private donations, but details will be decided later.

Apart from these administrative reforms, there will be no reform of the electoral system, a fact criticised by co-chair of the reform committee Rudina Hajdari.

Opposition recently returned to the dialogue on electoral reform, and Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha stated that they are determined to the completion of the reform by the end of this week.

Local elections in Albania were boycotted by the opposition last year, while the parliamentary election is due in 2021.