REASONS for revoking decree no. 10928, dated 05.11.2018 setting the date of 30 June 2019, as a day for elections of local government bodies

REASONS for revoking decree no. 10928, dated 05.11.2018 setting the date of 30 June 2019, as a day for elections of local government bodies

09:25, 10/06/2019

REASONS

FOR REVOKING DECREE NO. 10928, DATED 05.11.2018 SETTING THE DATE OF 30 JUNE 2019, AS A DAY FOR ELECTIONS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES

 

Pursuant to article 92, letter "gj", of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, the President of the Republic is the only constitutional body that has the competence to determine the date of elections for the Albanian Parliament, the local government bodies, as well as of the referendums.

In this particular disposition, the Constitution stipulates that "the President shall determine the date of elections for the Parliament, the local government bodies and the conduct of referendums".

According to the Constitution, without a date set by the President of the Republic, general elections or elections of local government bodies cannot be held.

The choice of the constitution-makers, designating the President of the Republic, as the exercising authority of the constitutional power to set the election date, is closely and directly linked to his role and function as the Head of State and representative of the unity of the people.

Referring to this role given to the President in Article 86 of the constitution, the constitutional law makershave decided that the President of the Republic is the body that should set the date of the elections, because the day of elections should be a moment of unity for Albanian citizens, where they freely choose between alternatives, and not a day of division between them.

In exercising his constitutional competencies and within the criteria provided for in Articles 8 and 10 of the Electoral Code, the President of the Republic with Decree no. 10928, dated 05.11.2018, has set the date of June 30, 2019, as the day of the election for the local government bodies. The Election Day was enacted by the President of the Republic in November 2018, under the conditions of a normal political and democratic climate in the country and following the conduct of consultations with representatives of three parliamentary groups, a constitutional practice already consolidated by the heads of the Albanian state.

 

The President of the Republic has continuously followed the progression of organizational measures for the accomplishment of this electoral process, as well as the expression of the will by the political forces to be part of this electoral process.

 

Following the evolution of this process, upon the expiration of the deadline for the registration of candidates and political parties participating in the 30th June elections, the political parties of the opposition had not registered in the Central Election Commission, reasoning their decision on the grounds of failure to ensure the implementation and compliance of constitutional standards for free and fair elections.

 

This decision by the opposition, not to register and participate as electoral subjects for local elections - follows their decision to en bloc relinquishopposition Parliamentary mandates, causinga serious crisis of representationin parliamentary political life.

 

On the other hand, Albania is undergoing a serious constitutional crisis, clearly evidenced by the fact that for more than a year the Republic of Albania does not have a functional Constitutional Court, lately further aggravated by non-functionality also of the High Court.

This situation is not in line with the provision of Article 7 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the system of governance is based on the separation and balance between the legislative, executive and judicial powers.

This important principle requires not only the formal existence of these powers but their effective and capable existence to fulfilling their constitutional mission, the balance of powers.

This situation is very worrying and seriously endangers the democratic stability of Albania, due to the fact that constitutional mechanisms that control and guarantee the separation and balance between the powers are not functional.

As the President of the Republic, I have made every effort and have cautioned the main political actors in the country to cooperate with each other, avoid divisions and conflicts. I have called for every effort to cooperate for the successful implementation of all important reforms, and the implementation of all EU-related key priorities that Albania needs to achieve as soon as possible positive results that will enable a positive response from the European Union countries to start the membership negotiations.

But besides the appeals, messages and efforts by the President of the Republic, but also by those of the friends and the international partners, again regretfully I conclude that the political parties currently reflect the further deepening of the differences between them.

On one hand, the majority is determined to go alone in the elections for the local government bodies planned for 30 June 2019, without exhausting any opportunity to resolve the political crisis in the country, even without taking any chances to explore options for the achievement of a political compromise, before the deadline for the registration of candidates and of political parties in the elections, and beyond.

On the other hand, the opposition is determined to disallow, with unknown means and forms, the conduct of the June 30th elections, considering their development as a serious provocation to democracy in the country.

In assessing the current situation of the country and the language of hatred used by the political parties, as President of the Republic I highlight and emphasize that there is a danger that Albania mightgo towards the escalation of un unpredictable social tension, which can cause uncontrollable consequences.

As the Head of State and representative of the unity of the people, I consider this moment as a serious threat to public security, democratic stability, tranquility and peace in the country.

The primary constitutional duty of the President of the Republic is to guarantee the unity of the people and to protect the democratic values and principles sanctioned in the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.

From this point of view I evaluate the following:

I. Firstly, the organization of free and democratic elections is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Every democracy needs to test the functionality and efficiency of its institutions from time to time, and the elections are precisely the mechanism that enables it.

As one of the fundamental instruments of democracy today, the elections serve as a direct route for citizen participation in political processes.

By choosing the public officials who best represent the values and interests of the people, voters / electors can influence the shaping of policies that improve their quality of life.

In this respect, the holding of elections for local government bodies without the participation of the opposition is problematic in the democratic aspect, because it prevents Albanian citizens from electing among their competing alternatives their representatives at the local level.

In this way, Albanian citizens are virtually removed from the possibility of choosing among the best alternatives and in essence the constitutional right to choose cannot be applied, therefore limited.

In the last parliamentary elections held in Albania in June 2017, the current political parties of the opposition (PD, LSI PDIU and other parties) provided respectively 48.14% of the total votes, while the Socialist Party (PS) alongside with the rest of its allies which are part of its political alliance today, has provided in total about 49.83% of the votes as a political subject.

In the recent local government elections held in Albania in June 2015, these political forces that make up the opposition bloc today provided around 48.6% of the vote, while the Socialist Party alongside with the rest of its allies which are still part of its political alliance today, has secured about 43% of the votes as a political entity.

Referring to these data, holding local government elections on June 30, 2019, without the participation of the opposition, which represents at least half of the Albanian electorate, violates some constitutional principles that enjoy special constitutional protection.

Specifically, our constitution clearly provides that the fundamental right to choose and respect the principle of political pluralism is the basis of the functioning of our state, and each has a duty to respect and protect these principles.

Under Article 1, paragraph 3, of the Constitution, "governance is based on a system of free, equal, general and periodic elections".

On the other hand, Article 45 of the Constitution provides that "every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen, even on Election Day, has the right to elect and to be elected".

The constitutional concept "to elect" or "to be elected" should not be seen and cannot be considered fulfilled solely in the formal aspect of the citizens' participation in voting.

 

This is not a fundamental element of democratic states, including Albania, and any absurd interpretation of this constitutional concept would include Albania in the list of non-democratic countries which make voting only on its own.

 

The constitutional concept that every citizen of the Republic of Albania "elects" or "is elected" is closely related to the effective ability of citizens to choose the best alternative offered to them.

 

This position is also reflected in the Constitutional Court's Decision No. 40/2007, where even further the court states that:

"Otherwise happens in the case of local elections. Here is aimed a closer connection between the voter and the elected for the very nature of the organization and competencies of the local government. It is the local government that cares about solving the current problems of citizens related to issues such as employment, health care, pre-schooling education, the cleaning and maintenance of green areas of local unit environments, etc.

For this reason, voting in local elections is treated as part of the structure of democracy from below upwards, enabling voters to participate in governance even in smaller forums, except for the national parliament.

In this respect, it is acknowledged that local government is closer to the citizens and thus they are more sensitive to changes in the running leadership of the local unit where they have their place of residence. "

In this way, referring to the constitutional principles and verdicts of the Constitutional Court, if the majority participates alone in the local government elections scheduled for June 30, 2019, then the citizens are deprived of the effective exercise of the constitutional right to elect.

This situation becomes even more absurd, referring to the fact that for these elections in more than half of the local government units competes only one candidate as mayor, while for the rest in the competitionare registered only candidates nominated by a single political force registered only in the last minutes in the judicial system, and registered at the CEC beyond the legal deadlines.

This clearly shows that this election process is fictitious and is an additional element that proves the fact that the expected democratic standards not only are fulfilled butthey are violated in a fragrant way.

The entire local government system that would function as a result of these uncompetitive elections would not be based on an election system, as provided for in Article 1, point 3 and Article 109 of the Constitution, but in a system of direct appointment of representative bodies and executives of local government units, which would violate the bottom and upwards democracy structure and voters participation in local government.

 

Likewise referring to this situation, even the self-control that the collegial body of the municipal council on the mayor's executive body should exercise, would not exist.

It is precisely this fictitious result that would be produced, making the elections enacted to be held on June 30, non-democratic elections, because the constitutional rights sanctioned in article 1, point 3, articles 45 and 109 of the Constitution are violated.

 

As the body of public authority, the President of the Republic has the obligation to respect Article 2, Article 15, of the Constitution, which sanctions that: "public authority organs, in fulfillment of their duties, must respect fundamental human rights and liberties, and to contribute for their fulfillment".

 

Under these conditions, where the President of the Republic has fulfilled his constitutional duty to determine the date of the elections, but for independent reasons it results that the effective exercise of a constitutional right of citizens is violated from the conduct of these elections, then the President of the Republic has the constitutional obligation to contribute to the restoration and realization of this right, by taking any act or measure that it considers proportionate and appropriate to regulate the created situation.

 

II. Secondly, the participation of the majority on its own in the elections, and even more so when at more than half of the local government units has been registered only one candidate, seriously violates the constitutional principle of pluralism on which the functioning of the rule of law is built.

The Head of State has the constitutional responsibility to safeguard the fundamental principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, interfering in any case where these principles are threatened.

Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, among other things, clearly defines the constitutional obligation for the protection of political pluralism by all. This implies not only the existence of different political parties, but also their real ability to compete, on equal and unobstructed conditions, in free and fair elections, as the only opportunity to respect the constitutional right of Albanian citizens to elect.

It is a public fact that the opposition political parties have not expressed the will for non-participation in the elections, but they raise the concern that based on the facts, data as well as the history and the way of their development over the years, in the OSCE and ODHIR reports and recommendations on the electoral processes developed in recent decades, the planned elections for June 30, 2019, will not be free and fair.

This concern by the opposition essentially raises the problem of the misapplication of legislation and election standards, which, otherwise, violates the principle of free competition, a principle for which the Constitutional Court has given an expository explanation in Decision No.32 / 2010.

This implies that they wish to participate in the elections, but on the condition that the freedom of all citizens to vote freely as well as free competition of all political forces is guaranteed, in accordance with constitutional principles and well-defined legal rules.

It is the duty for the state bodies to enable this, respecting the principle of pluralism, with particular focus on effective observance of the right to elect.

If this constitutional obligation is not fulfilled, then the only constitutional authority that currently has the opportunity to intervene in order to restore the process in a democratic and constitutional order is the President of the Republic.

The President of the Republic, based on the provisions of Article 15, paragraph 2 of the Constitution, has decided in this case to exercise his authority as a body of public authority in function of the public interest for guaranteeing the constitutional order in the Republic of Albania, and to contribute to the fulfillment of the constitutional right to elect.

In addition, as stated in the preamble of the Constitution, the President of the Republic is convinced that with his constitutional authority this act will contribute to the edification of the rule of law, of a democratic, social and democratic state to guarantee a fundamental human right, such as the right to be elected.

 

III. Thirdly, the conduct of elections in the context of a tense political situation can lead to not only non-participation in the elections of about half of the voters, but creates the risk of a civil conflict, which poses a serious risk to life impairment and the health of the citizens, the democratic stability of the country, the unity of the people and the constitutional order.

The President of the Republic should engage in rational and effective ways to protect the constitutional values and principles of the Republic of Albania. The President has constitutional responsibility, within the limits of the Constitution, to ensure preservation, in form and content, of constitutional principles. According to Article 86 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic is the Head of the State and represents the unity of the people.

In this respect, for the President of the Republic, democratic coexistence and unity of the people are constitutional principles to be protected, above any other secondary or formal regulation. Specifically, guaranteeing the constitutional order, public security, stability of the country and democratic, free and fair elections are constitutional principles that prevail over any other formal aspect, including the abrogation of the decree setting the date of elections and annulment of June 30, 2019 as the election day for local government bodies.

The President of the Republic, as the Head of the National Security Council, has noted that the behavior of political actors in the country has created a sharp climate of conflict that endangers the stability of public order, which would also be a threat to the national security of the Republic of Albania and the role of our country as a factor of peace and stability in the region.

The President of the Republic has followed all the protests by the opposition forces, as well as the response by the majority through counter-rallies organized on the same day.

Both sides have encouraged provocations against each other, often with their statements dividing the people of the country into two parts by placing them by their political persuasion against each other, ready to demonstrate the power of each side.

The development of protests and releasing of opposition statements, as well as of the counter-rallies or threatening calls by the majority, do not provide any assurance for smooth, free, fair, competitive, and according to standards elections.

On the other hand, in the protests held so far by the opposition, elements of violence against the law enforcement or public property have been observed, meanwhile law enforcement forces in some cases have used un-proportional tools, techniques, and reactions.

Therefore, if election day becomes a battle of power between the majority and opposition supporters, or into a battle between citizens and law enforcement bodies, then the elections would lose their value in a democratic society and from an essential means of guaranteeing a democratic society it would become a danger to democratic coexistence and unity of the people.

This danger must be prevented by the constitutional means, where it is undoubtedly included the annulment of the election date by the body with the constitutional competence and duty, protecting the unity of the people (Article 86 of the Constitution), and set the date of the Elections (Article 92 / gj of the Constitution).

If these two constitutional duties of the President of the Republic are set into a balance, I consider that the protection of the unity of the people and the democratic coexistence prevail over the strict application of the legal rules for determining the date of the elections.

In any case, the repeal of Decree No.10928, dated 05.11.2018 "On the setting of the Election Date for the Local Government Bodies" thus the cancellation of June 30, 2019 as a day for elections, implies postponement for another date, guaranteeing in each case the holding of elections within a reasonable time and guaranteeing the achievement of the purpose for which the initial election date is canceled.

Under the current conditions, the annulment of elections is the only urgent remedy for solving the severe political crisis and preventing its uncontrolled escalation, and postponing to another date, agreed between the political parties, will serve as an incentive for dialogue on crisis resolution that is threatening the democratic stability of the country.

IV. Fourthly, it is true that an important aspect of the elections is their periodicity.

This is related to the limited mandate of the representative and executive bodies of the local government units.

However, in the case of local elections, the election day, from the constitutional point of view, may exceed the mandate of the representative body or executive body of the local government unit.

Consequently, the abrogation of the decree and consequently the cancellation of the election date and their postponement beyond the electoral period established by the Electoral Code, in the conditions when it is done to protect the values and constitutional principles, as the basis for the democratic functioning of the state and institutions, does not present any constraints from a constitutional point of view.

There is a substantial constitutional difference between the rules for termination of the mandate of local government bodies and the rules for ending the mandate of the Parliament.

While Article 65 of the Constitution[1] sets forth in detail the constitution rules on the beginning and end of the mandate of the Parliament and the deadlines for the holding of subsequent elections, such a rule is missing in Article 109 of the Constitution,[2] which prescribes the mandate of the bodies of the governing units local.

This is not a gap of the constitution but is directly related to the electoral model that applies to the election of the executive body of the local government unit.

As an illustration, in the circumstances when for various reasons, within a deadline set by law, in a particular local unit, no candidate would be registered for candidacy, then the elections for that local unit would be postponed to another date, beyond the mandate and electoral period determined by the Electoral Code.

This is an extreme situation, which is not exempt from constitutional viewpoint and that has happened before in Albania.

It is worth recalling that due to the non-registration of the opposition in partial elections for the Municipality of Kavaja in 2017 and the withdrawal before the date set for the conduct of the elections on 7 May 2017 of the registered candidates, the date of the elections for this local government unit set by Decree of the President of the Republic No. 10352, dated 21.05.2017, were postponed beyond the legal deadline (Electoral Code) and a new election date was set on 25 June 2017 on the same date of the elections for the Albanian Parliament.

For this reason, prior to the rigid implementation of legal rules, I consider that the implementation of guaranteeing the constitutional standards should be respected, and the President of the Republic has the constitutional obligation to comply with the Constitution in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 4 of the Constitution, to ensure that through its acts it will be safeguarded the unity of the people, or political pluralism and peace in the country. These are constitutional principles that prevail over any other formal legal aspect.

V. Fifthly, electoral processes in the Republic of Albania, for both the parliamentary and for the local government bodies, have created its own history, with other past precedents of postponement of election date by the President of the Republic, always depending on the circumstances and aiming at fulfilling a legitimate purpose.

 

Specifically, in 2006, the President of the Republic, by Decree No. 5131, dated 02.12.2006, decreed that elections for local government bodies take place on Saturday, 20 January 2007.

 

Due to claims from political forces and their assessed inability to conduct elections on the set date (January 20, 2007) – because of a political conflict resolved by a late agreement on January 12, 2007 - the President of the Republic has again approved a new Decree no. 5194, dated 14.01.2007, by which it decided that: "Decree no.5131, dated 02.12.2006 "On setting the election date for the local government bodies" is revoked and the elections for the local government bodies to take place on Sunday on 18 February 2007".

Meanwhile, in 2017, the President of the Republic, by Decree no. 10098, dated 24.03.2017, set the date 07 May 2017 for the conduct of partial elections for the Mayor of Kavaja.

Due to the non-registration of the opposition in these partial elections for the Municipality of Kavaja and the withdrawal from candidacy before the set date from the registered candidates, by Decree of the President of the Republic No. 10352 dated 21.05.2017, election date for this local government unit was postponed, and the date was set for June 25, 2017, as a new date for the partial electoral process, coinciding with the same day of conducting general elections for The Parliament of Albania.

Meanwhile with Decree no. 9883, dated 05.12.2016, the President of the Republic set the date 18 June 2017 as the day for the elections for the Parliament of Albania.

Due to the political crisis of 2017 and the non-participation and registration of the opposition in this election process, the realization of the elections on 18 June 2017 became impossible.

In this way, after the political parties entered a dialogue and expressed their agreement through a printed document, the President of the Republic issued Decree no. 10 351, dated 21.05.2017, through which, article 1 of the decree no.9883, dated 05.12.2016 "On the date of elections for the Parliament" was changed, deciding the postponement of elections for the Parliament, and be held on Sunday, June 25, 2017.

In conclusion of reviewing these precedents over past years, postponement of general or local electoral processes in the Republic of Albania have been enforced as a result of particular political circumstances, the mistrust between the parties, political conflict, and tense situations, which in all cases have required the intervention of the only constitutional authority, that is the President of the Republic, to issue a new Decree on the postponement of the election date.

Referring to the above cases, the postponement of the election process and their realization is done both in the margins of and beyond the electoral period provided for in the Electoral Code.

In the aforementioned cases, the parties have consulted and subsequently agreed on solutions, including holding elections beyond the date set by a previous decree.

While the President of the Republic, as aforementioned, committed to establish a climate of dialogue between the parties, the latter have continued to further deepen their differences, where both majority and opposition have been holding for months of rallies and counter-rallies, as showcase of respective strength and power, thus excluding to the last day any opportunity for dialogue, and increasingly growing the tension climate in the country.

On 24 May this year, in an official statement, the President of the Republic, among other things, expressed the institutional readinessto review the Decree for the date of local elections, in accordance with the power given to letter "gj" of Article 92 of the Constitution, and to decree another election date, in accordance with the expressed will of the political parties.

Unfortunately both sides remained in their extreme positions. The majority continues to seek total capture of institutions, while the opposition calls for their full illegitimacy.

Under these conditions and due to such circumstances, the President of the Republic, considering the impossibility to resolve the situation by agreement, undertakes this initiative to avoid any risk of social conflict, while through the cancellation of election date aims to create the necessary time span for the parties to reflect, to discuss and to find the solution to this serious crisis.

 

VI. Sixth, the President of the Republic considers extremely important that, citizens’ constitutional right to local services will not be affected by changing legal deadline for local elections.

 

Law No.139 / 2015 "On Local Self-Government" regulates the organization and functioning of local government units in the Republic of Albania, as well as defines their respective functions, competences, rights and duties and of each respective body. Among other things, this law also provides the guarantees that citizens will not be affected in terms of services during transitional periods, while on-going electoral processes.

 

This guarantee is provided by article 60, point 4 of law no. 139/2015 "On Local Self-Government", which stipulates that:

 

“4. The exercise of the mayor's mandate begins at the moment of oath and ends upon his/her successor's oath." This means that Albanian citizens are provided with continuity in delivering services by local government units.

 

The same will has been foreseen by the lawmaker for the functioning of the City Councils during these transitional moments. Specifically, Article 53, point 1 of Law no. 139/2015 "On Local Self-Government", stipulates that: "The municipal council exercises its functions from the date of its constitution, according to article 48 of this law, until the establishment of the new successive council."

Therefore referring to these two provisions, it is regulated by law that no functioning vacuum is created in the current local government bodies until the election and commencement of duty by elected officials, expected to take place at a later date.

 

VII. Seventh, as the President of all Albanians regardless of their political convictions, the Head of State cannot remain indifferent to the extraordinary damage that the political crisis is increasingly causing to the economy of every Albanian family and nationwide. This crisis has injected uncertainty to the consumer, to small and large businesses, to domestic and foreign investors, to tourism and every other aspect of the country's socio-economic welfare.

According to Article 88, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic serves the general interest and progress.

The crisis and its prolongation would further undermine the country's overall economic interest, family income, and undermine progress towards sustainable development, indispensable for the country.

Therefore, to the best interest of every family and our entire society, it is fundamental to reflect, and to display prudence, cooperation and return to normalcy.

It is for these reasons that the Head of State has decided to intervene, in order for this crisis to head towards a solution, and not to deepen endlessly, because its following repercussions would be incalculable for the Albanian families and the country's economy.

 

VIII. Lastly, having elections on June 30, 2019, without competition and without the opposition's participation, - in violation of a key Copenhagen criteria for free and fair elections -would freeze the country's EU integration progress, undermine any prospect of opening accession negotiations, would damage the image of the Republic of Albania as a NATO member and, its OSCE Chairmanship in Office in 2020 - while the OSCE's electoral standards are essential for the Organization.

 

It is worth reminding the political parties that Albania aspires to become a member of the European Union since 1991, when immediately after the collapse of the totalitarian regime in the country the entire society has openly and consistently expressed its desire to be part of Western Europe.

 

In this irreversible process and committed to fulfilling the required conditions and criteria, Albania has since improved not only its constitution and domestic legislation, but has also undertaken a series of commitments and measures to give a clear and substantial meaning to the real democratic functioning of the state and of all social life.

 

One of the fundamental commitments that the Republic of Albania undertook under this process was the signing of the "Albania-EU" Stabilization and Association Agreement, in 2006. This  agreement has been ratified by the Assembly of Albania, by law no. 9590, dated 27.7.2006 "On the ratification of the" Stabilization and Association Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the European Communities of their Member States ".

The preamble of this act, which since ratification has become part of domestic legislation, clearly stipulates that through this agreement it is taken into account;

"The commitment of the parties to increase political and economic freedoms as the fundamental basis of this agreement, as well as their commitment to respect human rights and the rule of law, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, and democratic principles through a multiparty party system with free and fair elections".

However, against this pledge for conduct of free and fair elections, key Copenhagen criteria, Albania is actually heading towards mono-party and with no competition, due to the lack of accountability from both sides.

If the June 30th elections will be held in current conditions, whereby one political force overwhelmingly competes alone for elections of the governing bodies, then this situation constitutes a direct violation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement’s obligations and its basic principles, denoting regress with very serious repercussions for the country's European future.

The European integration of the country, for nearly three decades, has been and remains the National Goal of all political forces and all our citizens.

 

Therefore, should these elections be held without the participation of the opposition, in 2019, then this would not only block any step forward towards our objective, but would also send a wrong and untruthful message to all international partners signaling that Albania is oriented towards another approach, different from what it has followed in so far.

 

In this way, it would inevitably damage the Albanian National Goal to such an extent that recovery would take a very long time.

 

Another major international commitment taken for the first time by the Republic of Albania is OSCE Chairmanship in Office in 2020.

 

In the framework of this major commitment, it would be immoral for the Republic of Albania, as a country expected to chair the largest regional security organization in the world working for stability, peace and democracy for more than a billion people, to precede its chairmanship with the worst example of the functioning of the rule of law and questioning democracy and political pluralism.

 

Also for this reason, trying to avoid this potential jeopardy, the President of the Republic, decided to revoke Decree no.10928, dated 05.11.2018, for setting the election date for local government bodies, canceling 30 June 2019 as days of their development.

 

This decision of the President of the Republic serves to create a time span, within which, political parties in the country, reflect without delay, and resume their dialogue for a solution that serves the country's interests, far from the narrow and short-term interests of political parties that they represent and that would help Albania's common European agenda.

 

For all reasons outlined above;

 

With deep concern about the critical situation created in the country as a result of non-reflection of either party;

Bearing in mind the urgent need to ease the tension which risks the unpredictable escalation of conflict in the country;

Fully aware that current conditions do not allow the development of real, democratic, representative and inclusive elections;

Responsible for the country's European future;

With the determination to building a state of the rule of law that guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms;

With the spirit of tolerance, in the function of peace, welfare and social solidarity;

Convinced that this decision under current conditions is the only way to help solve the severe crisis in the country;

Taking high constitutional and institutional responsibility, and convinced that the protection of constitutional principles is more important than any legal term, faithful to the oath as the Head of State to serve to the safeguard of stability, social peace and national unity;

In accordance with the competences vested upon me by Article 92, letter "gj" of the Constitution, and compliant to the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, point 3 of Article 1, Article 3, point 2 of Article 4, Article 15, 45, point 1 of article 86, point 3 of article 88, and article 93 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania;

 

The President of the Republic has decided to revoke Decree No.10928, dated 05.11.2018 "On the Setting Election Date for Local Government Bodies" and the cancellation of 30 June 2019, as the day of elections for the organs of local government in the Republic of Albania.

 

I invite all responsible local and international actors to unite their constructive contributions for the urgent reestablishment of indispensable political dialogue and to finding a quick solution that serves the European future of Albania.

 

Therefore, convinced of the importance of this historic act to save the country's European future and to protect the democratic coexistence of all Albanians I am signing this decree in front of all Albanians.

 

Respectfully,

 

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

 

Ilir META

 

[1] 1. Parliament is elected every 4 years. The mandate of the Parliament begins with its first gathering after the elections and ends on the same date of the same month of the fourth year from the date of the first gathering. In any case, Parliament remains on duty until the first gathering of the new elected Parliament. 2. Elections for the new Parliament shall be held in the nearest election period preceding the date of termination of the mandate of the Parliament. Election periods and rules for calling the parliamentary elections are set forth in the election law. 3. In case of dispersion of the Parliament before the end of the full term, elections are called no later than 45 days after its dispersion. 4. Parliament cannot issue laws during the period of 60 days before the expiration of its mandate until the first gathering of the new Parliament, except in case of imposition of extraordinary measures.

[2]1. The representative bodies of the basic units of local government are the councils, which are elected every four years by general, direct and secret voting. 2. The executive body of the municipality or commune is the chairman, who is directly elected by the people in the manner provided in paragraph 1 of this article. 3. The right of election to the local councils and as the mayor of a municipality or commune belongs to those who are permanently resident in the territory of the respective local government unit. 4. The bodies of the local government units have the right to form joint unions and institutions with each other to represent their interests, to cooperate with the local units of other countries and to be represented in the international organizations of local governments.

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