Opposition parties have condemned efforts by the ruling Democrats to replace a member of the Central Electoral Commission, CEC, after the Democrats’ junior partner quit the government. The Democrats have asked parliament to relieve one of the seven election commissioners, who had been nominated by the Socialist Movement for Integration, LSI. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Sali Berisha declared that the move was justified, based on a 2003 agreement between the majority and the opposition.
In 2003, with the mediation of the international community and experts, an agreement was signed between the former Prime Minister [Fatos Nano] and the head of the Democratic Party [Berisha], which stipulated that the CEC would be a balanced institution, he said.
The government would have a four-to-three majority on the CEC, and this has been the rule since the 2005 elections, he added.
In September 2012, the seven members of the CEC were agreed by parliament, comprising four from the Democratic Party-led coalition and three from the Socialist-led coalition.
However, the LSI has since quit the government benches and joined the opposition Socialists ahead of the June 23 parliamentary elections.
On Wednesday, the Democrats approved a bill to replace the LSI member of the CEC with a representative from the Republican Party, another junior government partner.
A vote on the floor of the assembly for the new commissioner is expected on Monday.
Full Article: Albanian parties battle over election commission.