News

Amendments in the Electoral Code that aim decriminalization

Apr 30 2015
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

All of those people who have committed serious criminal offenses and have been sentenced to six months in prison by the court, in or outside the country, are not entitled to run in the local government elections.

This is the proposal announced by the Democratic Party regarding several transitory amendments in the Electoral Code that aims to stop the registration of candidates with a criminal past to run in the June 21 local elections.

Names linked with crime appear on the list of candidates for the local government elections

Apr 27 2015
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

US ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu said today that the list of candidates for the local government elections contains several names with possible criminal records.

This comes a few days after Mr. Lu had declared that the embassy would observe the candidates.

“We promised that we would look into the names of candidates, to see if they have been arrested before, in or outside of the country for different criminal offenses. We are happy with the candidate list, but we have concluded that some of the names in it may have criminal records”, Mr. Lu said today.

Greek minority decides to run on its own in the June 21 elections in Albania

Apr 21 2015
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, United Human Rights Party (UHRP) has decided to run in the June 21 elections on its own.

This political force that represents the Greek minority in Albania, is currently part of the governing majority.

But, with the entry in the left wing coalition of PM Edi Rama of PJIU, the party that defends the rights of Tchams, UHRP de facto finds itself outside of the coalition that won the general elections two years ago.

Albania Parties Prepare for Local Poll Showdown

Apr 17 2015
Albania
Source: 
Balkan Insight

The main parties have announced their candidates for the biggest electoral prize that is up for grabs in June’s polls – the mayoralty of the capital Tirana.

The left-wing ruling coalition which came to power at parliamentary elections in 2013 has named the current minister of welfare and former social activist Erion Veliaj as its candidate.

Veliaj, 36, holds a degree in political science from Grand Valley State University in US. He headed the Mjaft Movement, a civic activism NGO between 2003 and 2007 and founded an ill-fated party called G-99 in 2007.

Catholic Church Warns Albanians Against Vote-Selling

Apr 16 2015
Albania
Source: 
Balkan Insight

“We appeal to the conscience of citizens not to vote for candidates who are known for their criminal or corrupt past," an open letter from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference said on Tuesday.

“Even an election boycott or a blank ballot is an option and a voice that must be heard and a right that must be used in specific conditions. If any of the candidates doesn’t fulfil the criteria, then a boycott becomes a moral duty,” the letter said.

Albanian opposition fears electoral rigging in the local government polls

Apr 16 2015
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

In Albania, the leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha expressed his concern  about what he considers as a threat imposed by the government on the standards and the lack of a calm pre election climate.

Basha suggests that a larger participation of observers would assist in monitoring the process and avoiding the consequences that may come from electoral fraud.

Albanian opposition leader accuses the majority of running people with criminal records for the local elections

Apr 15 2015
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

The leader of the Democratic Party in Albania, Lulzim Basha accused today the two governing allies of running people with criminal records for the June 21 local government elections.

During the meeting of the democrat parliamentary group, Basha said that decriminalization is a decisive moment. Basha said that PM Edi Rama is not able to separate himself from people with criminal records and not defend them when they appear in front of the prosecution and police.

Ex-Minister Sets Sights on Mayoralty of Tirana

Mar 31 2015
Albania
Source: 
Balkan Insight

Gjergj Bojaxhi, a former deputy minister of energy, on Monday launched his campaign to become the Albanian capital's new mayor, running on a ticket as independent

Launching his campaign to become the next mayor of the capital, Bojaxhi challenged Albania’s two big political parties, the Socialist and Democrats, arguing that they had little to offer the city.

Local government elections in Albania to take place on June 21, 2015

Dec 15 2014
Albania
Source: 
Independent Balkan News Agency

President of Albania, Bujar Nishani decreed on Monday afternoon the date for the next local government elections in the country.

As it was expected, Mr. Nishani decided for the elections to take place on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

The previous local government elections were held on May 8, 2011.

The president’s decree came a few hours after the Constitutional Court overthrew the motion of the Constitutional Court to quash the bill approved with the votes of the left wing majority for the new administrative and territorial division in the country.

Albanians Promised Jobs for Votes, Study Finds

May 29 2014
Albania
Source: 
Balkaninsight

A survey by the Institute for Development Research and Alternatives, IDRA, said many Albanian were aware of people being promised gifts or favours in exchange for votes in elections.

“About 43 per cent of respondents declared they were aware of cases in which votes were promised in return for favours,” IDRA said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Voting ‘to keep their current job’; to 'get a job after the elections’; and ‘in return for money or gifts’, are mentioned as frequent phenomena encountered by more than a third of the respondents,” it added.

Albanian Ministry's Ad Cash Enriched One Agency

Apr 29 2014
Albania
Source: 
Balkaninsight

Data obtained by Balkan Insight show that from 2009 to 2012, the Interior Ministry spent its entire TV advertising budget on a single agency, linked to a pro-government media figure

The data, obtained through a freedom of information request, FOI, show that the Ministry of Interior held six major TV ad campaigns and produced one spot in four years for a total 85,389,780 lek (€610,000).

Macedonia Leads Balkans in Women MPs

Mar 11 2014
Albania
Source: 
Balkaninsight

Data from the World Bank show that Macedonia leads the western Balkan region in terms of gender equality when it comes to the percentage of women MPs in parliament.

According to the World Bank, 34.1 per cent of Macedonia’s parliament is made up of women MPs - the highest quota in the region.  

Serbia comes second in the region with 33.2 per cent, while Kosovo is close behind, with 31 per cent.

Albania President and Govt Feud Over Judicial Posts

Mar 05 2014
Albania
Source: 
Balkaninsight

The centre-left coalition has expressed dissatisfaction with consultations held with President Bujar Nishani over an appointment to the Supreme Court.

After meeting Nishani to discuss the replacement of outgoing high court judge Ardian Dvorani, the head of the Socialist parliamentary group, Gramoz Ruci, said the consultation process was a purely "formal" matter and not in accordance with the law.

Albania Govt ‘Failed to Uphold Pre-Poll Promises’

Feb 24 2014
Albania
Source: 
BalkanInsight

The Mjaft Movement, a Tirana-based watchdog organisation, accused the Albanian government of fulfilling only seven of 17 promises which it pledged to uphold in its first 100 days.

 

Out of the 17 electoral promises made by the centre-left government of Prime Minister Edi Rama that Mjaft evaluated as part of its Truthometer project, seven were realised, seven were not realised, one was judged to be unmeasurable and two others were only party fulfilled.

Rama’s government took office in September, promising to usher in a ‘renaissance’ for Albania.

Albanian Opposition Lambast 'Mafia' Government

Feb 21 2014
Albania
Source: 
Balkaninsight

More than 5,000 supporters of the opposition Democratic Party rallied in Tirana on Thursday, accusing the centre-left government of being in thrall to oligarchs and the mafia.

Addressing the rally, the Democratic Party head, Lulzim Basha, said Thursday’s March, held on the 23rd anniversary of the overthrow of the commuist regime, was only the start of a broader protest campaign.

Albania Opposition to Rally in Tirana

Feb 20 2014
Albania
Source: 
BalkanInsight

The opposition Democratic Party will hold a march on Thursday in Tirana to protest against what it calls the government’s betrayal of its campaign promises.

Announcing the rally in Tirana, Albania's former Democratic Party Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said Edi Rama's new left-of-centre government had based "everything on deception, falsity and violence against the opposition and the people”.

“The fraud committed by Edi Rama in turning his electoral platform upside down is quickly making his government illegitimate,” he added.

Albania MPs Seek Wealth Inspector's Removal

Feb 17 2014
Albania
Source: 
BalkanInsight

A number of government MPs have signed a report seeking the dismissal of the head of the High Inspectorate for Disclosure and Audit of Assets, Zana Xhuka.

The report, prepared by three Socialist MPs Armando Subashi, Piro Lutaj and Ulsi Manaj, calls on parliament to annul Xhuka’s election as chief inspector of HIDAA because she lacks the specific educational qualifications required by law.

The MPs also accuse Xhuka of blocking the control and audit of public officials since she took over at the HIDAA in January 2013.

Lobby Firm Behind Campaign to Smear Albanian Socialist

Jan 24 2014
Albania
Source: 
BalkanInsight

Sali Berisha’s government spent taxpayers’ money on a smear campaign in the US and in Albania directed against his political opponent, Edi Rama, which played well in the hands of the US Republicans and led to calls for an FBI investigation against US President Barack Obama.

Documents obtained by Balkan Insight under the US Justice Department Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA, show that the Podesta Group, which the Berisha government engaged for over two years, appears to have been behind three negative articles against Rama.

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