Identity cards and acquainting voters with preliminary voter lists are priorities


The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC), following with attention preparation for the June 28, 2009, elections, at this phase, sees the equipment of citizens without international travel passports with identity cards and the acquaintance of voters with the preliminary announced voter lists as priorities and urgent.

As in the statement of the Committee on February 9, 2009, AHC reiterates the fact that the equipment of citiens without passports with identity cards is not only a priority, but also an urgent need. Any kind of formalization, slowing down, or lack of organization could be accompanied by harmful consequences. The Committee says this also because of the fact that the time until the June 28 elections is relatively short. The state needs to create citizens real possibilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

As in the statement of the Committee on February 9, 2009, AHC reiterates the fact that the equipment of citiens without passports with identity cards is not only a priority, but also an urgent need. Any kind of formalization, slowing down, or lack of organization could be accompanied by harmful consequences. The Committee says this also because of the fact that the time until the June 28 elections is relatively short. The state needs to create citizens real possibilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Through the statement of the Interior Minister, made public on March 24, 2009, public opinion was informed that starting from today, March 25, 2009, the process for equipping citizens with biometric passports begins in Tirana. AHC is aware of the fact that equipping citizens with new identity documents is of special significance for visa liberalization, but is of the opinion that currently, this could make difficult or slow down the process of equipping citizens without passports with identity cards.

For that reason, AHC suggests to the Interior Ministry to revisit the initiative to launch at the same time the application of citizens to obtain biometric passports.

AHC calls once again on voters who have not yet applied and are not equipped with identity cards to carry out this service as soon as possible, as it guarantees their participation in the parliamentary elections of June 28, 2009.

Another important issue of priority is the acquaintance of citizens with the announced voter lists. Based on some observations by AHC activists, the impression is created that voters have not been informed about the publication of voter lists and the public spaces they have been posted on.

Article 50 of the Electoral Code tasks heads of local government units to make announcements in writing, through neighborhood administrators and village chairs, to every voter. This announcement should include the voting center, its location and address, as well as the voter’s number on the list.

AHC suggests to heads of local government units to visit this issue, inspect the enforcement of this task within the deadlines established by law.

Furthermore, considering that the electronic civil register has been compiled, AHC calls upon voters to verify the accuracy of their names on the announced preliminary lists and, in case of inaccuracies or omissions, to request their correction, in accordance with the law.

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