Coalition for Reforms, Integration and Consolidated Institutions (KRIIK) in pursuit of citizens’ denunciations broadcasted by the Investigative Show “Boom” on “Ora News” TV, denunciations in other media and especially in the media statements of the Minister of Interior and Director General Office of Civil Status published on October 5, 2020, The PUBLIC STANCE “The Ministry of Interior to make full transparency, periodically, on the whole process of drafting and correcting the voter list”.
In it, KRIIK emphasizes that the start of the process of drafting and verifying the voter lists is the most important process, which directly affects the citizen’s right to vote. This process is of major importance in the case of these parliamentary elections as it affects, in the first place, the allocation of parliamentary seats for each constituency.
By tracking the whole situation and considering the circumstances, KRIIK notes that, regarding this issue ascertained by the media, on the part of the Ministry of Interior there is a serious lack of transparency and at the same time there is an not at all appropriate and correct attitude of the two senior state officials.
Moreover, allusions that this is an issue stifled by opposition parties and non-professional media, in the first place constitute direct statements of intimidation towards the media, violating the freedom of investigation and coverage of citizens’ problems in relation to state institutions.
On the other hand, it is assessed that the clarifications given and the statements made do not appear to constitute a complete and correct institutional position on the cause of the problem and the appropriate institutional solution to the issue.
In essence, in a total lack of transparency, the official explanations served raise even more doubts about what really happened to the confusion of the citizens’ addresses of residence, the way they were collected, how the address was determined as the residence of citizens and how the data was migrated from the National Register of Addresses to the National Registry of Civil Status (NRCS).
KRIIK emphasizes that the change of residence in the National Registry of Civil Status is directly related to the electoral number, ie the list of voters, therefore calls on the Minister of Interior as the responsible authority charged by law to make and ensure continuous transparency.
This transparency should be comprehensive, detailed in the steps taken and the mechanisms used, accompanied by a sound legal basis.
Moreover, in the judgment of KRIIK, it is necessary for the Minister of Interior, together with other responsible institutions, to make the full transparency that they refused to do during the nearly 7 months of the process of drafting and clarifying the voter lists for local elections 2019, during which the addresses of residence were verified for about 283,338 voters, who until then were listed with unknown addresses.
Clarifying the address of these voters, today has a direct weight first in determining the number of seats for each constituency, a decision which is expected to be taken by the Regulatory Commission of the new CEC.
KRIIK brings to the attention of the Ministry of Interior problems identified, also in the Instruction of the Minister of Interior no. 298 dated 10.09.2020 for the preparation of the voter list for the electoral process of April 25, 2021.
Among other things, it is found that it remains unclear and disturbing why this Instruction is drafted in the same form as the 2018 instruction, not explicitly defining “automatic list generation by the NRCS system“, as defined in the instructions previous ones of 2016 and 2014, thus leaving room for its manual management.
The Document calls on the Minister of Interior to correct and improve the Instruction so that he fulfills the legal obligations deriving from the Electoral Code regarding the minimum number of voters for a VC; the process of written notification of voters and the mechanism of accountability of Mayors for this process; the financial fund for this purpose which should be made available to the municipalities on 06.10.2020; improper forecasting of notification models as well as other suggestions based on the experience and problems encountered during previous processes.
In conclusion, KRIIK urges the Ministry of Interior and the DGCS, immediately after the publication of the first extract of the electoral components of all voters, to make a full presentation of the entire process followed, as well as to publish all the summary data of this extract, paying special attention to the situation of voters with permanent residence outside the territory of the Republic of Albania.
KRIIK also urges the State Election Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner to take immediate steps to appoint two technical auditors as soon as they take office.
The new CEC should pay special attention to the monitoring of the process carried out by the Municipalities of the country, both for the drafting and specification of the voter list, as well as for the designation of Voting Centers, especially those in rural areas where to use for the first time the minimum criterion of 300 voters for a polling station.
This oversight, in the context of a totally one-sided local and central government, is of great importance in increasing the credibility of the process in the face of competing political actors, but above all in increasing civic confidence in the upcoming electoral process.
The full document in .pdf format can be downloaded HERE.
Tirana, on 5 October 2020 !
*This Press Release is published in Albanian and in English.
The Albanian version is the only official document