On June 16, 2020, the Coalition of Reforms Integration, and Consolidated Institutions (KRIIK Albania) addressed the OPEN LETTER “The June 5 agreement, as a moment for the leadership to overcome the experience to date” to the Prime Minister and Head of the Socialist Party, H.E. Mr. Edi RAMA, the Head of the Democratic Party, Mr. Lulzim BASHA, Head of the Socialist Movement for Integration, Ms. Monika KRYEMADHI, Leaders of the Parliamentary Factions at the Assembly of Albania and the members of the Political Council.
In the Letter, KRIIK commends the agreement reached on June 5 on the package of amendments to the electoral legal framework, considering that it marked an important turning point in the democratic progress of the country, after a series of negative precedents and major crises.
ON the other hand, KRIIK expresses its concern on the fact that the June 5 agreement of the Political Council has not yet been concluded into a legislative document, despite ten days being passed since the agreement, especially in light of the fact that the drafted text on which discussions are being conducted has been available to the Parliamentary Committee for the Electoral Reform, prepared by the technical experts, at least since November of last year.
By means of the letter, KRIIK addresses the highest political leadership, highlighting the need to encourage their direct political and institutional commitment, to conclude as soon as possible the agreed amendments in the Electoral Code as well as draw the attention of the leaders themselves and the respective parties some additional maters that, in KRIIK’s judgment, necessitate to be addressed as soon as possible in a visionary and mature manner.
Specifically, KRIIK highlights the need to address as soon as possible:
- the matter of full transparency on the activity of the Political Council
- the necessary regulatory framework in case the next electoral process is conducted under a situation of pandemic, as well as
- continuation of the reformation of the legal framework through institutionalization and further functionalization of the Political Council on matters that were not part of the agreed package, such as mechanism for the control of financial activity of political parties, the vote of diaspora, and forms of direct democracy (referenda).
Especially it is encouraged the functionalization of the Political Council in assisting the CEC on issues that might arise in their activity, especially considering that, as per discussions during the reform process, the CEC might be tasked with the management and regulation of some hot issues, on which political agreement has been impossible.
This is a reason more to help strengthen the new CEC institutionally, by helping it with expertise and agreed political will, and shielding it from political pressure.
In conclusion of the Open Letter, considering the prevalence of transparency in the whole political and institutional life an imperative, as a mean to return public trust, KRIIK brings to the personal and political will of the political leaders the following specific instruments, the enablement of which, although in absence of specific legal obligations, could be realized by the political subjects voluntarily, in fulfillment of a more visionary perspective on the letter and spirit of the Constitution or the current legal framework.
In KRIIK’s judgment, undertaking the proposed steps, while them being minor for the capacities of a political party, will improve the climate of transparency in the eyes of the citizens, will greatly help in harmonizing other procedural processes, as well as mark a turning point on a series of other advocacy, accountability or law-enforcement processes, thus providing a strong contribution against impunity and absence of compliance with the law by political parties themselves.
Specifically, KRIIK’s proposal concern:
- improving financial transparency of political parties, not only during the electoral period, by urging the political parties to undertake a voluntary process aiming at providing detailed transparency of their financial activity.
- increasing transparency of electoral offers (concrete and detailed electoral programs) as well as the full profile of candidates, by requiring from the latter, among others , to publish in advance all three financial dimensions: financial assets they possess or in which they are involved through their relatives; obligations deriving from this assets, fiscal and not; as well as their financial obligations towards third parties.
- bringing to life and institutionalizing the post electoral audit, institutionally impose the improvement of observed issues and gaps in the electoral process, as well as to better project milestones and level of depth of intervention in the future electoral reform, to be carried out by the new legislature.
As a last consideration, KRIIK expresses also its stand regarding the public discussion for the change of the electoral system, highlighting that such discussion is a matter that necessitates high maturity, an integral analysis of a series of factors and a full union of political and civic stakeholders.
Moreover, taking into consideration that, on KRIIK’s judgment one of the shortcomings of the current system is that it does not encourage parliamentary plurality and is a barrier for new political formations, it is proposed specifically that for the next elections be considered an intervention that technically is not essential but it has a real effect, lowering the electoral threshold or even change the formula for the allocation of seats, aiming to encourage new alternatives and strengthening of pluralism as a crucial value for a democracy being built.
Tirana, on 16 June 2020!