On October 5, 2020, the Assembly of the Republic of Albania approved the draft law “On some additions and amendments to the Electoral Code.” Among the amended provisions is paragraph 3 of article 67 of the Electoral Code, which allows the Chairperson of the party or of the leading party of the coalition to register up to four electoral constituencies for the elections for the Assembly.
On October 13, 2020, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) reacted publicly against this legal exclusion, arguing that this amendment was in contravention of the principle of equality and non-discrimination as well as of the standards sanctioned in some international documents.
The latest opinion of the Venice Commission, among others, addresses the contents of article 67, paragraph 3, of the Electoral Code mentioned above. It states that the exclusion made in this case is in violation of the principle of equal voting and non-discrimination. However, since it is recommended that the approved amendments to the Electoral Code are not revised before the elections of April 25, 2021, the Venice Commission expresses the opinion that political party leaders refrain from being candidates in multiple electoral constituencies.
In this sense, AHC suggests that although the above exclusion, stipulated in article 67, paragraph 3, of the Electoral Code is in force, the chairpersons of parties and chairpersons of leading coalition parties (registered with the CEC as electoral subjects) only run in one constituency.
The phrase “may register” formulated in the above provision, in our opinion, makes AHC’s suggestion entirely possible to realize.