CFFE Press Statement in the framework of the Election Situation Room “The Election Room for the Electoral Reform”
In the framework of the Election Situation Room's project, CFFE aims at the promotion of depoliticization and professionalism of the election management bodies (EMB) in Albania and lobbing to the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform to guarantee such a standard in the Electoral Code. In fulfilling this goal, CFFE will work with political parties and not against them to guarantee the best standard and practices in election management. CFFE believes that the depoliticizing of electoral management and the guaranteeing of professionalism in every level of the administration of elections is in the interest of political parties and voters alike and serves the general public interest for free and fair elections. We are aware that not all political parties share the same opinion. Especially the major parliamentary parties are still reluctant to break away from the concept of management of elections as a privilege and not as a civic responsibility. But we consider this fact a source for greater motivation. We understand that more work, persistence and dialogue is needed until we arrive at the depoliticization of election management.
Throughout the monitoring of the parliamentary elections of 2013 and local elections in 2015, CFFE has noticed persistent problems in the administration of elections, mainly related to: (1) high levels of party influence in the formation of committees and the organization of their work along these divisions; (2) volatility of the election administration and continuous change of commissioners beyond the legal deadlines; (3) the lack of professionalism of election administrators which was also a result of the first two factors. These problems were also identified in the reports of the OSCE/ODIHR, which are currently leading the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform. The Committee should be strongly supported by civil society to provide the best and most useful responses to these recommendations. Solutions that will be adopted should be clear, safe, efficient and final. The depoliticized management of future elections should be treated not only as a guarantee, but also as a test for the goodwill of political parties and for the success of the reform.
CFFE has engaged experts to draft concrete recommendations in this regard. They will propose amendments to the Electoral Code concerning the nature and functioning of electoral management bodies as well as propose alternative management models. CFFE will advocate to the parties and the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform to adopt these changes.
CFFE believes that elections are neither an instrument nor a prerogative of parties or of civil society. Therefore, the electoral reform should not be subject to their narrow interests. Elections and the electoral reform belong to voters and the actors in the process should be guided by the public interest. This common denominator must be the foundation to the work of each of us.