Op-ed: Without electoral reform, Albania's door to the EU will remain closed
By 25 September 2018
photo credit: NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization/flickr
In what seems to be a scenario that has repeated itself the last few election cycles, Parliament is again working on a bipartisan proposal to reform the electoral system, after Prime Minister Edi Rama and opposition leader Lulzim Basha agreed in June 2017 to implement the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR from the 2013, 2015, and 2017 reports.
But this time, the stakes are high. In June 2018, the European Council decided that in order to open accession negotiations in June 2019, not only does the government need to fulfill the five “key conditions,” it is also expected to fully implement all OSCE/ODIHR recommendations before the 2019 local elections.
Both the Dutch and German parliaments will have to sign off on a European Commission report evaluating the progress of the Albanian government, and CDU Bundestag member Thorsten Frei already indicated that “the first accession conference will only take place after the local elections take place based on a new electoral reform that has been approved in a bipartisan manner.”
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