Coalition for Reforms, Integration, and Consolidated Institutions (KRIIK Albania) has followed in continuity since the adoption of the Electoral Code in 2008, electoral processes and other institutional processes related to them.
On 23 August 2019, KRIIK published the PUBLIC STANCE “30 June as a failure of the Albanian political class and a threat to democracy” through which it highlights that the process of 30 June 2019, considered “Elections” or “Voting”, has led to the new local government receiving the mandate, even though it is impossible to consider it as an electoral process that has highlighted the expression of the free democratic will. This because, among others, it was marked by a unilateral political administration, several legal violations, as well as it was a process almost totally lacking competition, thus making the local government, de facto, politically nominated.
KRIIK deems that this so-called electoral process marked the conclusion of a series of failures of the Albanian political class, this latest failure costing, in addition, the failure of three other major institutional efforts: – lack of legal and institutional capacities to hold elections with integrity; – the undoing of the local governance as a decentralized power; as well as – the impossibility of a serious political-institutional dialogue, the lack of which has brought forth the radicalization of political confrontation, in an attempt to install a permanent constitutional crisis.
It is highlighted, among others, that the first damage of the 30 June elections, but also of other negative precedents established in previous elections, is the definitive undoing of the legal framework, responsible institutions, and the electoral tradition as per the Electoral Code of 2008.
Moreover, through this “electoral process” has been destroyed also the mechanism of political counterbalance, which is bi-partisan in practice, in elections, whereas new precedents have been set.
The constitutional mechanism of the Republic of Albania seems to be missing life at its core now, because after 30 June the mechanical electoral rotation is being oriented toward a clearly autocratic mechanism, with “double ticket” of central and local governance. The state formation project of a constitutional liberal democracy is thus banalized to electoral dueling in which “the winner takes all”.
On the other hand, KRIIK raises the concern that the verticalization of the power, without the presence of the opposition, in the domestic context of law enforcement and institutional conduct, presents a major risk to local governance.
KRIIK deems that, in the current situation, due to the absurd and anti-legal precedents established, it should be considered disbanding the body of the Central Election Commission and the Electoral College, as well as start working on writing a new electoral code.
KRIIK also brings into attention and calls upon all actors that the June 30, 2019 Local Elections, to the extent they can be called as such, in any case, cannot become a loop that keeps society hostage and institutions in a spiral of constitutional crisis and radical rhetoric.
In KRIIK’s judgment, now, the question marks and contradictions on 30 June should follow the institutional path, while expecting the Constitutional Court to consider the case, with all the effects that this court’s decision can lead to.
The political class has the highest national responsibility to show maturity, start without further delays the dialogue and find a compromise for the right solution for the country and the future of democracy.
At the same time, a challenge and duty remains the maximum engagement for the Justice Reform as well as for starting the electoral reform, as it should express itself and engage strongly and clearly in fighting corruption at all levels and organized crime.
In conclusion, it is highlighted that the present and future of Albanian citizens, after three decades, cannot depend on the political agreement or, even worse, political “haggle”.
If the current political class is unable to have a serious political and institutional dialogue based on principles, without mentioning the necessity for strong institutions or improvement of the quality of life of citizens, the fate of this political class must be withdrawal or removal.