17 July 2020 - CRCA Albania, requested officially today to the Albanian Parliament important changes of the Electoral Code, that is currently being discussed with major changes taking place, a year before parliamentary elections are held. Through a letter sent to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Public Administration and Human Rights, CRCA/ECPAT Albania has argued in detail all the changes required to take place to improve several provisions of the Draft Law "On Some Amendments and Additions to Law no. 10019, "Electoral Code of the Republic of Albania".
CRCA requests equal gender representation in all party lists, both local and central. The organisation wants equal gender participation in elections in every list, setting the legal criteria for the zip ranking of both genders throughout the list. Setting the new standard to 50% for each gender for the big parties is fully feasible.
Another important change required by CRCA and the PINK Embassy seeks to bring the Electoral Code in line with the Constitution and the Law in Measures against Discrimination, in order to improve the framework of respecting the principle of equality and non-discrimination in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity or any other cause given by the Law on Protection from Discrimination.
Finally, in its recommendations CRCA has again placed emphasis on the request to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 years old. Currently, Albanian citizens have the right to vote after reaching the age of 18, while the CRCA proposal is to reduce the age, aiming at strengthening democracy and have more young people actively participate in elections.
Albania has been one of the first countries in the World to recognize the right to vote to women, since 1920. Then this was an avant-garde policy that we believe shall be followed by supporting adolescents’ rights. In Albania, the law criminalizes any person over the age of 14, while it doesn’t allow them to choose and enjoy the right to vote at the age of 16.
The proposals come at a turbulent political time for Albania, but they seek to strengthen the legal guarantees for the observance of the principle of equality and non-discrimination for all citizens in the exercise of fundamental human rights and freedoms, especially in the exercise of political freedoms and rights.