28 July 2020 Statement of the President of Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta
Comprehensive and open political dialogue between political parties on all issues affecting the elections is the only path that brings Albania closer to the European Union and brings Electoral Reform in line with OSCE / ODIHR standards, as required by the European Council in 15 conditions set for the opening of negotiations.
Maintaining the spirit and results of the June 5 agreement is very important for the opening of negotiations. The insistence to stick stubbornly to the date of July 30, which has been set without having any concrete objective, damages the stability and the European path of Albania.
Albania should not miss the historic moment for the starting of EU membership negotiations due to the stubbornness to change the election rules unilaterally. Stubbornness offers no solution and is not in Albania’s interest.
I call on the Socialist Party, as a political force with contributions to the integration process, to abandon the unilateral and non inclusive change of the Constitution. It is time to show the prudence that has characterized it in the past and to put the interests of Albania first. The date July 30 is not related to any interest of Albania. July 30 should be canceled, to pave the way for a comprehensive and consensual process of electoral reform.
In three decades of pluralism, the Socialist Party, the most positive merit has the leadership that showed for making the country with a modern Constitution through a comprehensive process that was finalized with the People’s Referendum, even though at that time it had over 2/3 of the Assembly.
I do not want to dwell today on all the reasons why today’s Assembly is out of any standard to touch the Constitution, as these have been made clear by the Venice Commission, but in conditions when citizens are dying and the size of the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming threatening, any violation of the Constitution will impose on historical responsibility all those who will provoke the constitutional order in the country, which is based on political pluralism and free and fair elections.
I call on the Democratic Party and the United Opposition, in the name of European integration, to continue with persistence and without retreat, the efforts to achieve a consensual product. The step taken on Friday, through a consensus proposal, should be the way forward, in order to find the points that unite the parties.
History has shown that unilateral and hasty acts, stubbornness, short-term political interest, lack of culture of consensus and dialogue between the parties, have harmed Albania and Albanians for a long time. This mistake should not be repeated.
For this reason, I reiterate the call to all parties to continue to work in good faith in the Political Council, without delay, with the sole objective of finding consensus between them. It is entirely possible to achieve a common product and agreed upon by all. The constitution cannot be changed without consensus among all major political parties in the country.
The time to work for Albania in Europe is now! No one should harm this important moment for Albania!