The Albanian parliament has approved the agreement on amendments to the electoral code of the Republic of Albania, which will allow Albanian citizens abroad to vote from their country of residence.
The agreement on the amendments to the electoral code was reached in Albania after months of negotiations between majority and opposition thanks to international mediation.
The amendments approved in the Electoral Code define the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) as the institution in charge of directing and monitoring the voting process for residents abroad, who will be able to vote from their country of residence (as if they were in Albania) if registered with the national register of civil status.
Voters' votes from abroad will therefore be managed by the Central Electoral Commission, which will have to guarantee the integrity and secrecy of the vote and prevent any interference with the ballot papers and electoral information it manages.
The vote from abroad will be opened when the CEC starts the procedure for sending the voting documentation. The rules for the administration of electoral material or voting information, (recorded and archived by computer systems) for voting abroad, as well as for pre-electoral tests and pre-electoral verification of the systems, are included in the general legislation that the CEC will approve for the use of electoral information technology systems.
The Electoral Code establishes that the legal guarantees for the control, monitoring and access to the Central Electoral Commission during the management of votes from abroad, as well as for the tests, verification and security of the electoral material or IT systems used for this vote cannot be lower than those used for the electoral process in Albania.
Parliament is now called to approve another part of the agreement on electoral reform, that relating to open lists and the ban on forming electoral coalitions, which also provides for the introduction of a new threshold for elections.
The next parliamentary elections in Albania are scheduled for June 2021.
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