The Election Observation Action for the Local Government Bodies
14 May 2023
KRIIK has started to monitor the process of the Elections for Local Government Bodies on May 14, 2023 in its entirety, from the moment of the announcement of the date of elections by the President of the Republic, on October 24, 2022.
Based on the experience of observing the Elections for the Assembly of Albania in 2021 and the Mayoral by-elections in six Municipalities in 2022, KRIIK focused its commitment during the process for the Local Elections of May 14, 2023 in the institutional communication with the institutions that play a role in the electoral process, with special emphasis on the main one, the Central Election Commission (CEC).
This approach is also in line with KRIIK’s approach since 2012, for the full and continuous follow-up of all the activities of the CEC and continuous communication with it, not only during election periods, but all the time. The main goal of this approach is to promote and provide a continuous contribution to the strengthening and consolidation of the practice and experience of this institution in covering with responsibility and impartiality the many tasks that the Electoral Code assigns to it to guarantee the integrity of the elections.
Exercising the responsibilities and powers given by the law with complete accountability and impartiality, undoing the strong political influences that are exercised and extended by the leading bodies down to the lower levels of its administration, will legitimize and transform the CEC into a truly independent and uncontested institution in its decision-making, which will subsequently affect and promote this climate and legal behavior in other independent institutions, and even in the entire public administration.
Strongly believing in this approach, as well as operating with limited resources for these elections, KRIIK built a close operating methodology with the CEC focusing on:
- First, concrete recommendations derived from the many years of experience of continuous observation, aiming to improve the current regulatory framework, based on the legislation in force; and
- Secondly, promoting, strengthening and consolidating the internal institutional mechanisms of the CEC that directly address the control and legality of the behavior of political parties, their candidates, as well as state, central or local institutions, administered politically and totally by the current majority.
Specifically, KRIIK focused on strengthening the most challenging, but at the same time very important mechanisms for the enforcement of the law, such as the one for preventing abuse of state resources and campaign finance.
Unlike previous practices, based on the political context and aiming to increase effectiveness of the constructive approach of the monitoring action, KRIIK has widely published during the pre-election period three Public Stances, considered the most important in relation to the electoral process, while all the intense institutional communication and close cooperation with the Central Election Commission to address the problems that have arisen have been made public in this website.
Also, on the website of KRIIK can be found data updated throughout the process on:
- the reporting progress of state institutions to the CEC on the public activities carried out by them;
- political advertising on the “Meta” platform (Facebook and Instagram) by political actors; and
- media coverage in audio-visual media of election contestants and political exponents during the official election campaign period.
The day before the election day (the day on which the election materials are distributed) and the day of the election KRIIK engaged 71 short-term observers who visited the Commissions of Election Administration Zones (CEAZ) in a non-systematic manner, observed the activity of the latter and interviewed the members of the CEAZs regarding the development of the process. They also visited a limited number of polling stations during the voting process, focusing on the situation around the polling stations, as well as the vote counting centers during the counting process, with the same methodology of non-systematic visits, observing the counting process. and collect information from the members of CEAZs.
On May 15, 2023, one day after election day, KRIIK published the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions and while the counting of votes was being finished, the Public Stance “Political Actors need to take responsibility for what they offered to Albanian Citizens in these elections, as well as clearly express their will to respect the Law and the Institutions“.
Currently, KRIIK is monitoring the process of complaints and appeals, and published about it the Public Stance “The proactive approach of the Central Election Commission in the identification and denunciation of election crime, essential for ensuring the integrity of elections and law enforcement in the country“. KRIIK will continue monitoring this election process until the end of the entire institutional cycle, including the post-election audit, as well as the reporting and control of election campaign finances.
The observation of the Elections for Local Government Bodies on May 14, 2023 is being conducted voluntarily by KRIIK, in cooperation with 30 well-known local partner organizations, in most of its elements, a cooperation that has been consolidated for more than a decade.
With the financial support of the Small Grants Program of the Commission for Democracy of the United States Embassy in Tirana, were observed some elements of campaign finance and abuse of state resources during the pre-election period were observed.
Association Sebastia – Kurbin
Parental Hand Association – Korça
Power of Hope, Trust and Change – Gjirokastër