Will the diaspora be able to vote in the 2021 elections?!

Will the diaspora be able to vote in the 2021 elections?!
The Albanian diaspora in the world may only be able to vote in the next parliamentary elections in the country, but not in this year’s local government elections, which are scheduled to take place on 30 June. Although politicians have promised this for years in a row every time elections are held, it looks like this promise cannot be delivered even in the upcoming local government elections. Instead, everyone’s hoping that the diaspora will be able to vote in the 2021 general elections, at least, based on the declarations and frequent statements that politicians have made.

“The Democratic Party needs to contribute in order to determine the formula of the inclusion of Albanians who live abroad to vote in the 2021 general elections”, was declared yesterday from Athens by the Socialist Party General Secretary, Taulant Balla, who added that the political force that he represents has demanded for the diaspora living abroad to vote since the 2011 electoral package was proposed. Meanwhile, on their part, representatives of the Socialist Movement for Integration have often declared that this political force has, in fact, been the first one to propose this idea in the 2005 elections. On the other hand, the practical application of such step seems to be in the hands of the so called “electoral reform”.

“With this reform, we want to agree on an electoral formula which entitles Albanians living abroad to be able to vote in elections taking place in their country”, Balla added. Meanwhile, the socialist senior official also mentioned the fact that Albania is the only country in Europe, which, although 1/3 of its population lives abroad, it has not yet  been able to enable its citizens to vote on the decisions that  the country takes, blaming the opposition for this delay in the process.


Overall, politicians agree that for the 2021 general elections, the sides still have plenty of time to discuss the way people will vote, whether it will be by post or traditional voting in consulates and embassies, as it happens with other countries

 The draft which enables the diaspora to vote

A draft already exists concerning the amendments of the Electoral Law, which also includes the vote of the diaspora. The draft has been sent to Parliament at the end of last year. According to this draft, authorities should draft a unique list for Albanians who permanently live abroad and this list should be attached to the District of Tirana. However, this proposal has been contested  by the opposition, according to which there’s a big problem in this case, because this leaves room for vote rigging and ballot stuffing. Meanwhile, a while ago, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati was the one who declared that there needs to be political will and collaboration between the political sides in order to guarantee the right of vote for so many Albanians who live abroad and who have been demanding for so many years to be part of the decision making process in the country.