Yesterday afternoon the Albanian parliament began its new session, in a room that continues to have 18 free seats following the resignation en bloc of the 58 opposition deputies last February.
In fact, only 40 opposition deputies have been replaced to date by following the list of the Democratic Party and that of the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) with names that have not followed the political decisions of their leaders.
"Parliament has faced unique and incredible challenges with dignity. Liberal democracy as never before has proved to be a constitutional democracy and constitutionalism itself as its solid vocation.
As never before in the history of pluralism, the Constitution has resisted adventures thus saving the Albanian democratic system from anarchy and chaos.
About 70% of parliamentary seats were replaced very quickly by new opposition deputies, which helped to restore the normality of the parliament itself."- said the president of the parliament, Gramoz Ruçi in his opening speech.
The common denominator in the discussions of representatives of all political parties in the chamber was electoral reform.
The majority, as Prime Minister Edi Rama has specified, aims at its closure in the coming weeks to implement the recommendation of last year's European Council in view of the opening of official negotiations. The European council should give its final verdict in the middle of next month on both Albania and Northern Macedonia.
The reform, as President Ruçi said, will have to be approved by both the majority and the opposition. The latter's representatives supported the idea of changing the electoral system as confirmed by the words of the leader of the democratic party Rudina Hajdari:
"The electoral reform will put an end to this system that has swept away internal democracy. As opposition we are in favor of constitutional changes for a new system that offers worthy candidates and fair competition. ”- said the leader of the PD.
However, constitutional changes will be very difficult to accomplish within a few weeks. In this sense, even the leader of the socialist party Taulant Balla stressed that the reform must be based on OSCE recommendations.
Furthermore, in this context, the socialist majority is continuing the parliamentary inquiry to remove the head of state Ilir Meta from office. The process itself will take time - given that the last word is up to the Constitutional Court which is currently not in operation in Albania - but in the meantime the parliament has turned to the Venice Commission whose opinion will probably be decisive.
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