Electoral reform will not change the electoral system in Albania but will interfere in key election campaign issues and election development.

Ora News read the draft of the electoral code amendments made by the Socialist Party and independent experts contracted by the Assembly who have moved forward without the opposition as they have boycotted the commission.

In a document that has not yet been made public, a number of changes have been made. 

These relate to the number of employees in the election administration body, the structure of the Commissions of the Administrative Election Zones and the Voting Center Commissions, as well as how counting teams will be selected.

From the 8 members that the Commissions of the Administrative Election Zones Commission currently have, the new code proposes to be only 4.

From the 7 members currently holding the Voting Center Commission, the new code proposes only 3.

Another novelty is that this body will no longer be elected by political parties but by individuals who will be trained by the CEC and will receive the electoral title, thereby depoliticizing the electoral administration.

The chair will be the oldest member of the board and the second oldest person will be the secretary.

Counting groups have also undergone a change, reducing from 4 members to 2.

Regarding the sale of the vote, the new code foresees only one declaration signed by the party chairperson who solemnly vows not to be involved in such a move.

As for the financing of political parties, the code prohibits cash financing for a subject more than 30,000 lekë, down from the previous 100,000 lekë ceiling.

Another new measure is that the parties will not be allowed to receive funds from legal companies that have benefited from concessions or PPPs in the 3 years prior to the election.

Also, legal persons and companies that finance a political party will be forbidden to receive concessions and PPPs worth more than 10 million lekë for 3 years after the elections.

To denounce violations, the CEC will create an online portal during the election period.

Concerning the election campaign monitoring, television networks will continue to show ready-made material from political parties to news editions, but politically paid advertisements will be banned for the 3 months before the start of the election campaign.

While from the campaign experience of 2017, propaganda materials such as flag posters etc. will be banned outside the area set by the Municipality and will be allowed only at a distance of up to 5m away from electoral offices.

Gender equality has also been significantly highlighted in the new code.

To be implemented, the new electoral code requires 84 votes in parliament, thus necessitating the contribution of the opposition, which has so far chosen to boycot the entire electoral reform commission.

/Ora News.tv/