Tirana, on 19 January 2015 – The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections and Sustainable Democracy (CFFESD) calls on all political parties grouped in the majority and the opposition to begin concrete work with regard to legal amendments to the electoral code and to ensure that local elections are conducted according to international standards, based in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, the Copenhagen Document, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
All political forces should carefully read the reports and recommendations of international and local organizations in previous elections and establish a calm and cooperative environment during the electoral campaign, on and post-election day.
CFFESD welcomes the promise of the Prime Minister, Mr. Rama regarding the commitment of the Socialist Party to have a 50% representation of both genders for the municipal councils.
CFFESD also welcomes the promise of Ms. Vokshi, MP and President of the Democratic League of Albanian Women, who on behalf of the Leader of the Democratic Party, Mr. Basha promised that the Democratic Party will run 50% women for municipal councils and around 20% women candidates for mayors in the future elections.
CFFESD welcomes the Central Election Commission for the recommendations sent to the Albanian Parliament for the necessary improvements of the Electoral Code, where among others they requested respect for voters with disabilities by adopting the voting centers and facilities for this category as well as recommendations for special measures to increase women's participation in elected bodies.
However, CFFESD as a voluntary non-governmental coalition with representatives throughout Albania, interested in free and fair elections, inclusion of women in decision-making and respect for the rights of persons with disabilities, and based on the current political situation, requests that:
1. Discussion on the review of the Electoral Code, to be adapted to the new Territorial Reform with 61 municipalities re-opens.
2. The issue of equal gender representation in the Electoral Code for both parliamentary and local elections is reviewed and re-formulated according to the requirements of the civil society to provide for strong sanctions on political parties that not adhere to it.
3. Political parties show the necessary will to immediately fill the vacancies in the Central Election Committee with new members.
4. All procedures are implemented and measures are taken make secret voting possible for persons with disabilities by making polling centers accessible throughout all Albania.
CFFESD consists of 25 partner organizations and hundreds of volunteers across the country that are willing to contribute that Local Elections 2015 reach required standards. CFFESD is monitoring the political situation with regard to the upcoming elections of 21 June 2015 daily.
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