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Politike

Venice overturns Meta plans to cancel local elections / VOA uncovers details: CC has no jurisdiction to review June 30 locals

Venice overturns Meta plans to cancel local elections / VOA uncovers details: CC

The Albanian Constitutional Court has no jurisdiction to review the validity of local elections: this is the conclusion reached by the experts of the Venice Commission in the draft opinion prepared in response to the request submitted in July by the Constitutional Court itself, which VOA has seen it. The draft opinion will be discussed in the plenary session the next day when the final text is expected to be approved.

The case in the Albanian Constitutional Court was raised by the Association of Municipalities of the country. After the hearing held on 23 June, where the allegations of all parties were heard, the members of the Court decided to address the Venice Commission with 3 questions.

The first question was whether Article 131, point 1, letter "e" of the Constitution could be interpreted that the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to assess the constitutionality of the electoral process? ”. This question relates to the various allegations raised over the Court's jurisdiction in this matter. The article for which interpretation is required specifies in point 1, letter "e" that the Constitutional Court decides on issues related to the eligibility and incompatibility in the exercise of the functions of the President of the Republic, deputies, officials of bodies provided by the Constitution, as and by verifying their choice ”.

Exactly this article is referred to, among others, by the Association of Municipalities. As the Constitutional Court itself explains in the letter sent to Venice, this moment is included in the Constitution after the intervention made in the framework of the decriminalization reform, in order to recognize the right of the affected person to appeal, since it is a restriction of a constitutional right.

The experts of Venice, after a long legal analysis, conclude that “the competence of the Constitutional Court does not include reviewing the validity of local elections. "This does not prevent the Constitutional Court from exercising its control over the electoral legislation ."

Following this finding, the answers to the other two questions, which in fact were in support of the first, no longer carry any weight, also because in content they seek answers to questions which were touched upon in the previous Opinion of the Venice Commission, though how they are laid out is more like seeking an answer in terms of doctrine rather than concrete context.

" Given the principle of periodicity of local elections and that of political pluralism are provided as basic constitutional principles, what would be the relationship between them in a situation where there is a risk of violating each principle? Which principle would prevail over the other? ", Is the second question. In fact, the issue raised has found a relatively broad argument of the Commission, in its Opinion of 2019. In the current draft opinion, experts specify that "the principles of periodicity of elections and political pluralism are unlikely to conflict with each other as they are expressed in very different types of rules. Pluralism may be a legitimate aim to intervene in periodicity, but for that aim to prevail, the interference must have a legal basis and be proportionate. Parliament has a wide discretion to decide on providing a legal basis for postponing elections; in the absence of such a basis, the Constitutional Court may consider the postponement as unconstitutional ”.

The third question also raises an issue touched upon as before. " In a situation of legal uncertainty, has the conduct of public authorities and political parties violated the right of voters to have a meaningful choice?" Should they ensure the highest interest of the voters? ”, Is the wording made by the Constitutional Court, which explained that“ starting from the moment when the elections were annulled (almost 3 weeks before their holding according to the date originally decreed) ed.) The bodies involved in the electoral process of June 30, 2019 have held different positions. This is due to the fact that during this period the Constitutional Court was not functional and that there was no other court request submitted to any court instance.

Sipas ekspertëve të Venecias “Pyetja nr. 3 ngre çështjen e pasigurisë juridike në kontekstin e zgjedhjeve lokale të vitit 2019. Edhe nëse një pasiguri e tillë juridike nuk mund të kundërshtohet, pasiguria politike ka ndikuar thellësisht dhe në mënyrë të përsëritur në skenën politike shqiptare në një masë akoma më të madhe. Ndërsa “autoritetet publike dhe partitë politike” nuk kanë siguruar “interesin më të lartë të votuesve”, arsyeja nuk vjen thjesht nga “veprimet” e tyre, por nga polemikat e vazhdueshme mes tyre, që shkojnë deri në pikën e gërryerjes së vetë legjitimitetit të demokracisë para elektoratit”. Për këtë arsye, sipas ekspertëve “mbetet bashkë-përgjegjësi e autoriteteve publike dhe e gjithë spektrit politik për të rikthyer besimin në institucionet shqiptare dhe në proceset zgjedhore. Kjo nënkupton përgjegjësinë e të gjithë këtyre palëve të interesuara për të promovuar dialogun politik midis të gjitha forcave politike, si dhe midis institucioneve kombëtare, siç është Komisioni Qendror i Zgjedhjeve, ndër të tjera. Kjo nënkupton gjithashtu rivendosjen e një zgjedhjeje kuptimplote për votuesit. Të gjithë këta elementë janë parakushte sine qua non, por jo ekskluzive për zgjedhjet demokratike”. VOA

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