Analysts: Elections in Kosovo are undergoing superficial reforms

Analysts: Elections in Kosovo are undergoing superficial reforms

Analysts Adnan Merovci and Leon Malazogu, experts on the electoral system and Driton Selmanaj from the Democratic Institute of Kosovo speak to Independent Balkan News Agency

The electoral reform launched three years ago has reduced to an amendment of the current law. Experts of electoral processes say that the reform is being made in a symbolic way, because very few changes are taking place as far as the content is taking place. According to them, currently the Parliament of Kosovo and political subjects are amending the current law, while the word “reform” has remained as a symbol for a task which has started three years ago.

Speaking to IBNA, Driton Selmanaj from the Democratic Institute of Kosovo, says that what MPs are doing is an amendment of the law more than a reform.

“MPs and political class in general agree on the fact that this is not a real reform. The idea of completing or amending the current legislation proves that the reform no longer exists”, says Selmanaj.

According to him, this parliamentary legislature has used the electoral reform as a means to achieve its political objectives.

Mr. Selmanaj is expecting next legislature to carry out the electoral reform.

“The reform currently being made is very superficial. The substance has not been affected at all. All issues which have been important and which up to a certain extent would have an impact on the improvement of democracy in Kosovo and would consolidate this democracy, have been ignored”, says Mr. Selmanaj.

Debates in the political arena in Kosovo are also taking place on the electoral threshold which currently is 5%. Main political parties propose for this threshold to be increased to 7,5% for coalitions, to remain the same for political parties and to be reduced to 2,5% for independent candidates.

Speaking to IBNA, analyst Adnan Merovci says that the electoral threshold damages Albanians more than minorities.

“In my opinion, the threshold that has been announced, doesn’t secure political comprehensiveness and it damages Albanians more that minorities with the reserved seats”.

Mr. Merovci suggests a 1 to 3% electoral threshold for a solid comprehensiveness:

“A comprehensive threshold would consist on 3% for coalitions, 2% for political parties and 1% for independent candidates”, says analyst Adnan Merovci.

It’s too late for a reform

Analyst Leon Malazogu from the Institute for Democracy and Development says that it’s too late to carry out an electoral reform for the next elections.

“The electoral reform has been misinterpreted, being intertwined with constitutional changes. Above all, three years have been wasted on this reforming process”, says Malazogu for IBNA.

The expert of the electoral system says that constitutional changes, for which this legislature doesn’t have consensus, have not been necessary to finalize an electoral reform.

“The reform is no longer the focus. The focus now is on the election of the president of Republic by the people”, notes Malazogu.

The analyst criticizes parliament, suggesting that MPs were able to do more during this period, in order to carry out a concrete reform in the electoral system of the Republic of Kosovo.

Law committee is expected to announce the proposals for the changes in the electoral law. Meanwhile, the time when the elections will be held will depend on the time when electoral amendments are carried out in order for them to come into effect and to be applicable for the next parliamentary elections. Currently, political parties are aiming to carry out reforms without affecting the Constitution. /ibna/