TIRANA, October 1
Albanian citizens, 18 years or older who reside outside Albania are not eligible to vote by absentee ballot. According to the Office of the Albanian State Minister for the Diaspora, 115 countries worldwide and 41 countries in Europe allow their citizens to vote when abroad, and still, the majority of those countries do not have such a high degree of migration compared to the population as Albania does.
Therefore, an interinstitutional working group on drafting a legal package on enabling the right to vote for Albanian citizens living abroad will be created. The State Minister announced on Monday that work on this matter will start following the approval granted by the Council of Ministers (read decision below)
The interinstitutional group that will be led by the Diaspora State Minister, Pandeli Majko is going to include representatives from the ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance and Economy, Health and Social Protection, Infrastructure and Energy, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT).
The group in cooperation with the Ad Hoc Commission on the Electoral Reform will coordinate the process and hold consulting with external experts, civil society and international organizations’ representatives.
The legal package will be submitted for approval at the Council of Minister by December 2019. The initiative is fully compliant with the European Union (EU) recommendations.
The Albanian Constitution provides for two basic conditions for the right to vote: being a citizen of Albania and being at least 18 years of age on E-day (Article 45 of the Constitution). This right may be restricted only for mentally impaired persons if they are declared as such by a court decision.
When referring to long-term or short-term migrants, the Constitution states: “The Republic of Albania protects the rights of Albanian citizens who temporarily or permanently reside outside its borders” (Article 8 of the Constitution). It also states that the Republic of Albania assists Albanian citizens living and working abroad to preserve and develop ties with the national cultural heritage.
Decision: Paketa Ligjore per te drejten e votes