TIRANA – Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has confirmed that the Socialist Party majority will pass the changes to the Electoral Code without revising them, Exit News reported.
The changes were approved by the Socialist majority on October 5th but were then returned to Parliament by President Ilir Meta. The President said that unilateral amendments to the Electoral Code were unconstitutional and that he had addressed the Venice Commission for a specialized opinion on this process. He urged the government to wait for the opinion before passing them again.
However, if the President does not decree the law and returns it to parliament, the parliament has the opportunity to amend it as per his suggestions and then pass it, or just pass it without changes.
Rama said that the amendments will be approved as soon as possible and without changes.
“We vote as soon as possible as soon as the next voting session is scheduled, without any change of points. We will vote for the code as voted by the parliament with a majority that is meaningful so no one can question the will of the parliament, much less Ilir Meta”, Rama pointed out.
Earlier, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi has called on the Albanian Parliament to wait for the opinion of the Venice Commission regarding the Constitutional Changes of July 30, before passing the amendments to the Electoral Code, Albanian Daily News reported. He wrote on his Twitter account that Parliament should consider their advice before proceeding with the second vote.
#Albania electoral code: I trust @VeniceComm will provide swift advice to Albanian stakeholders on the implementation of Constitutional Changes of 30 July. Parliament should consider waiting w revote to take this advice into account. Look fwd to free&fair elections in April 2021.
— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) October 26, 2020
Rama responded to Várhelyi’s comments saying there is no time to wait for the Commission’s opinion before the next elections.
“I always welcome the opinion of the Venice Commission, but for a law voted on a rejected by the President, the procedure is clear: The President’s refusal is accepted or rejected by parliament. Parliament will re-elect the amendments without losing a single day”, wrote Rama on his Twitter account.