For the opposition the electoral reform is done if the majority accepts his proposal on the inquiry of the last parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, last Thursday, the parliament voted by majority vote to request removal from the mandate of the Socialist deputy Ilir Beqja, which will be evaluated by the Constitutional Court.
Yesterday, Edi Rama came as a surprise to the electoral reform table called by Prime Minister Sali Berisha for the 5 parliamentary parties, civil society and international organizations present in Albania. The same Sali Berisha who presided over the table was surprised to see opposition leader Rama entering the meeting.
On Monday, Berisha had publicized his initiative, inviting the parties to participate in the table set for Friday morning, but in a press statement, Edi Rama had rejected the invitation, affecting the opposition's participation in the electoral reform process with transparency on the June 2009 parliamentary elections.
In congratulating Rama for coming to the meeting, Berisha assured those present that "this time the majority is fully convinced to leave the opposition and its experts the drafting of amendments to the Code that it considers necessary to make the electoral process safer ". Moreover, the Prime Minister wanted to reiterate that the last elections have respected all democratic standards, but at the same time the majority for an ethical question cannot but take into consideration the position of the opposition on these elections. Therefore, Berisha offered to set up the parliamentary commission of inquiry, give the opposition its majority, and accept any outcome that would come out of the investigation. The majority leader said he was willing to reopen the ballot boxes to count the ballots, provided the courts decide: "From today up to two months from the start of the election campaign for the 2013 policies, Sali Berisha is available to count the ballots that will no longer be eliminated, even if other 10 million euros will be spent to buy new ballot boxes ”. Secco Edi Rama in his speech. After a first joke about the V-shape of the table: "I thought it was a round table, but it is not done", the leader of the socialists has increased the dose saying that the opposition knows the price of Berisha's sincerity: "the First Minister is sincere when he makes the offers, but he does not keep them because he is omnipotent in considering them after waste paper ". For Rama, Albania is the only country that fails to end the tradition of disputed elections and has wanted to reiterate that the problem is not the modification of the Electoral Code but its correct application. Rama gave Berisha the opposition's proposal for the establishment of the parliamentary inquiry commission for the June elections 2009 signed by 30 socialist deputies whom the Prime Minister said he wanted to consider as soon as possible. According to the socialist proposal, the Commission will have 15 members, of which 8 of the opposition will also have its presidency. The object of the investigation will be the electoral documentation including the electoral lists, the work of the Central Electoral Commission, the efficiency of the technology used for monitoring the vote counting process, the violations verified in the counting of votes for the distribution of seats and in the granting of identity cards and passports.
Instead, today, the socialist secretary for legislative matters, Fatmir Xhafaj, stressed that the recount of the ballot papers will be negotiated later between the parties, considering the opposite positions on this point, but the opposition will not participate in the electoral reform if it is not accepted their proposal delivered to Berisha yesterday.
The Beqja case
The political clash between the majority and the opposition focused the last few days also on the case of the socialist deputy Ilir Beqja. The majority accused him of having benefited from public funds after being elected deputy, an act prohibited by the Albanian Constitution. This is a tender that the IT company of which Beqja is a shareholder at 51% was awarded by the Municipality of Durazzo in November last year for the value of approximately 200 thousand. The socialists claimed these days that at that time Beqja could not be considered a deputy since the socialist deputies were sworn in only the 25 March 2010. Nothing to do: last Thursday, the Parliament voted with 70 votes in favor, 67 opposed and 3 abstained the request for removal from his mandate which will be evaluated by the Constitutional Court. Today the socialists have dusted off a sentence of the 2009 of the Constitutional Court on the appeal of a candidate nominated judge of the Court of Cassation, whose appointment was rejected by the Parliament with a relative majority. That case, according to the Constitutional Court, the parliament had to reject the candidate with the majority of 50% + 1 of the deputies present. On balance, considering that in the parliamentary session last Thursday all the 140 Albanian deputies were present, the removal request had to be voted with 71 votes instead of the obtained 70. In short, according to the observation of the socialists, it is a lost cause from the start. But last Thursday's vote reveals another uncertainty in the Albanian political scene: the government majority is very fragile and could lose their temper any moment.