In the second half of March 2019, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) reported that in the city of Tirana, Local Government Units did not send any written notice to voters in their residences, pertaining which voting center they would vote in on June 30, 2019 and in which ordinal number of voter lists their name is in.
Based on these alerts, AHC considering that for the above-mentioned notification, Article 52 of the Electoral Code assigns the heads of local government units, in the early days of April 2019 it undertook a monitoring to ascertain in the spot the authenticity of these alerts.
For this purpose, a meeting was organized with a considerable number of voters (consistuency) of the relevant local government units as well as with the heads of these local government units who claimed that the notification in the voters residences was not made because they lacked the necessary funds to do it.
The allocation of this fund, according to the above-mentioned Article of the Electoral Code, is to be made by the Ministry of Interior. Therefore, pertaining the results of this observation, AHC with Letter no. 259 prot., dated 17.04.2019, notified the Ministry of Interior.
In April 2019, AHC expanded this survey in 7 other cities of Albania, namely: Fier, Korça, Gjirokastra, Durrës, Elbasan, Vlora and Shkodra and the same situation was found. The written notice of the voters in their residences was not made, while the excuse of the heads of local government units and the coordinators authorized to administer the electoral process at the local level, was one and the same. They said that they did not have the necessary fund for this.
The voter notices, according to the Electoral Code, should have been made within 60 days of the publication of the first extract of electoral residences, within February 5, 2019.
Although the above provision of the Electoral Code has not been implemented, AHC recommends to the Ministry of Interior, in the framework of transparency, to inform whether the lack of notification of the voters in their residences has come as a result of non-allocation of the fund or due to negligence by the heads of local government units.
Regardless, AHC is of the opinion and recommends that there would be no legal hurdle or impediment if the notification of the voters in their residences was made even during the May – June of this year, even after the publication of the final voter’s lists, as should the voter’s name not appear on the respective voter’s list, the voter is nevertheless entitled to address the Court up to 24 hours before the date of the election.
This press statement has been produced with the financial assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany. The implementation of this project is carried out by Albanian Helsinki Committee. The contents of this press statement are the sole responsibility of Albanian Helsinki Committee and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the Federal Republic of Germany