Albania: Rama holds discussions with Coordinative Council of the Diaspora on the expats’ voting rights

Albania: Rama holds discussions with Coordinative Council of the Diaspora on the expats’ voting rights

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama held a virtual meeting today with the Coordinative Council of Diaspora, on the subject of the vote rights of the Diaspora in the electoral reform.

According to Rama, “the vote of immigrants is a public pre-electoral commitment we made, but in special circumstances, when it is necessary to negotiate between three parties, the hopes of achieving it is much lower than normal”.

“The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the practical possibilities of voting for Albanian citizens living abroad and, of course, to provide an overview of the situation and the current facts in a broader context that extends beyond this issue”, Rama said.

He also added that “first and foremost, the immigrant vote is a public commitment based on the program we have made. Secondly, we have worked in the light of this commitment parallelly with the political process, which -for many reasons that we do not need to get into, has been delayed in the context of the Electoral Reform in view of the next elections”, Rama noted.

He reaffirmed that “we have neither a lack nor a scarcity of political will to achieve this goal, which in our view is of particular importance and is one of the strategic goals related to the environment and the framework for holding elections in Albania”.

“I have been closely following all your efforts and discussions, and I am glad that there was an abundance of direct contact with the government as a result of Minister Majko’s commitment. I am sorry that you have somehow challenged our will, something that is outdated and easily explained”, Rama said.

The Albanian Prime Minister stressed that “we are in the process of an unprecedented electoral reform, as today we are not two parties but three, and in a way the basis upon which the political parties have to agree on the elections is tripartite”.

“On the one hand, there is the parliamentary majority, one non-parliamentary opposition and a parliamentary one. I emphasize that from a numerical point of view, the Code and the Electoral Reform as a whole require a special majority that we do not hold today in terms of numbers in the Assembly. In terms of delivery, we also want to respect the continuity of a complete process. This process in the current context concerns an understanding between 3 parties, on our part as a majority with two other political poles, which, despite being a product of the same party or source of choice, show divergent views”, Rama said.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of understanding based on mutual tolerance between the three parties.

“When it comes to migrants’ voting rights, there is no disagreement, but we do not agree either at the moment, because the devil always hides in the details. In principle, there is no party that claims we do not want immigrants to vote, but when it comes to the way of voting and the opportunities available, the choices are very limited. The process was quite difficult and conflicting and delayed this reform. In certain circumstances, when it is necessary for all three parties to negotiate, the hopes for achieving it is much lower than normal”, Rama said.

The Albanian prime minister noted that “we have studied the analysis of voting methods from abroad, but for historical reasons of political conflict we have ruled out the possibility of voting in embassies and consulates, which would be a cause for discussion and distrust”.

He added that the opposition in parliament seemed to be insisting on its request, “we ourselves have set it as a goal and a political commitment to our program and we are working on it every single day”.

“We are working on an electronic registration option, a compatibility option between the voter list and the list of those interested, but it is too early to say whether it is viable or not. I’m sure that in one way or another we can start this process; why not start a pilot project?”, he said. /ibna