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Albania - Electoral Law

 

THE ASSEMBLY LAW No. 8609 dated May 8, 2000

THE ELECTORAL CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA

In reliance on articles 81 and 83 point 1 of the Constitution,

 on the proposal of the Council of Ministers,

 

 

 

THE ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA D E C I D E D:

 

FIRST PART

CHAPTER I
DEFINITIONS AND PRINCIPLES

Article 1
Purpose of this Code

The purpose of this Code is the specification of rules:

  1. for voting for elections to the Assembly, for the organs of local government and for a referendum;

b) for the organization and functioning of the election commissions;

  1. for the preparation and improvement of voters’ lists;

ç) for the determination of electoral zones;

  1. for the registration of electoral subjects and their financing;

dh) for the reflection of electoral campaigns by the media;

  1. for the organization and validity of referenda;

ë) for procedures of voting and the issuance of the results of elections;

  1. for criminal and administrative violations of the provisions of this Code.

 

Article 2
Definitions

For purposes of this Code:

  1. The "election date" is the date of voting set in the decree of the President of the Republic and does not include the date on which a second round of voting may be held.

  2. "Special institutions" are prisons, places of pre-detention, hospitals or other health institutions that accept patients for more than three days.

  3. A "candidate" is an Albanian citizen registered with the electoral commissions as a candidate for deputy, or for mayor of a municipality or commune, or for a municipal or communal council, in accordance with this Code, who is to be voted on in the elections.

  4. An "independent candidate" is a candidate for deputy, or for mayor of a municipality or commune or a municipal or communal council, who is not supported by any political party.

  5. A "joint candidate" is a candidate of a single-member electoral zone or another electoral unit, who is supported by two or more political parties.

  6. A "coalition" is a grouping of two or more political parties registered with the CEC that submits a joint multi-name list for the elections to the Assembly or the organs of local government.

  7. "VCC" is a Voting Center Commission.

  8. "CEC" is the Central Election Commission, created according to article 154 of the Constitution.

  9. "LGEC" is a Local Government Election Commission.

  10. "ZEC" is a Zone Election Commission.

  11. "Voters’ lists" are the official documents of the registration of voters for each polling unit provided in accordance with this Code.

  12. A "multi-name list" is a list of candidates of a political party or coalition, approved by the CEC, which serves for the election of candidates in the proportional system.

  13. An "electoral unit" is either an electoral zone, or a municipality or commune in the case of local elections.

  14. A "political party" is a party registered in accordance with law no. 8580, dated 17.2.2000, "On Political Parties."

  15. The "election period" is the period from 30 days before the election date until the final announcement of the results of the voting.

  16. A "representative of an electoral subject" is a person authorized by a candidate or a registered political party to follow their interests in the elections and participate in the meetings of electoral commissions, in the name and for the account of the candidate or the party.

  17. A "voting center" is the premises designated for holding the voting, in accordance with this Code.

  18. The "second round" is the second day of voting in an electoral unit because no candidate won the required majority of votes on the election date, in accordance with the Code.

  19. A "constitutional referendum" is a referendum held pursuant to point 4 or 5 of article 177 of the Constitution.

  20. A "general referendum" is a referendum held pursuant to articles 150, 151 and 152 of the Constitution.

  21. A "local referendum" is a referendum held pursuant to point 4 of article 108 of the Constitution.

  22. "The National Registry of Voters" is the official document in which all voters of the Republic of Albania are registered.

  23. "Revision of the lists" is the process of taking out or putting in names, or changing the data, in the voters’ lists.

  24. A "student" is every voter registered as a full-time student in an educational or job training program in Albania of at least three months in duration and whose residence for purposes of this education or job training is a place other than his domicile.

  25. "Electoral subjects" are political parties or coalitions registered with the CEC, their candidates or independent candidates registered with a ZEC or LGEC.

  26. "Domicile" is the place where a voter is registered in the civil status register, according to the condition of article 12 of the Civil Code.

  27. "Residence" is the place within the territory of the Republic of Albania where the voter is temporarily located within the meaning of article 14 of the Civil Code.

  28. A "voter" is every Albanian citizen qualified to vote.

  29. "Voters in the armed forces or police forces" are all voters who serve in the armed forces or the police forces and reside in a military or police base.

  30. "Elections" are the voting for the Assembly, the representative organs of local government or for a referendum.

  31. "Partial elections" are the voting to fill the seat of one of the 100 deputies elected in single-member zones or the place of a mayor of a municipality or commune, as well as for the election of a new local council in case of dissolution.

  32. "Polling Unit" is a geographical zone within a municipality, commune, or electoral zone established in accordance with this Code.

  33. "Electoral zone" is one of the 100 geographical divisions of the territory of the Republic of Albania established in accordance with the Constitution and the rules of this Code, in which voting takes place for the election of a deputy.

Article 3
General Principles

  1. Elections are conducted through free, secret and direct voting, according to the rules provided in this Code.

  2. Every Albanian citizen, without distinction of race, ethnicity, gender, language, political conviction, religious belief, or economic condition, has the right to vote and to be elected in conformity with the rules provided in this Code.

  3. Voters freely exercise the right to vote in conformity with the rules provided in this Code.

  4. Voters are equal in the exercise of the right to vote and to be elected.

  5. The division of electoral zones is done including in each one an approximately equal number of voters.

  6. Every voter has the right to only one vote for the election of an electoral subject or referendum alternative, in accordance with the rules set forth in this Code.

  7. Electoral subjects are free to make electoral propaganda in any lawful manner.

  8. Electoral commissions provided in this Code fulfill their responsibilities in an impartial and transparent manner.

Article 4
Setting the Election Date

  1. The date of the elections is set by decree of the President of the Republic, according to the rules provided in articles 65, 109, 115, 151 point 3, 152 point 3 and 170 point 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.

  2. The first round of elections for the Assembly take place 60 to 30 days before the termination of its mandate and no later than 45 days after its dissolution.

  3. The first round of elections for the organs of local government are held 60 to 30 days before the end of the mandate of the existing local organs, or no later than 45 days after their dissolution or discharge. In case of an appeal from the dissolved or discharged organ, the President of the Republic sets the date of elections no later than 45 days after the decision of the Constitutional Court. In the case of non-exercise of the right to appeal by the organ of local government dissolved or discharged, the President of the Republic sets the date of the elections no later than 30 days after the end of the time period for an appeal contemplated in article 115 point 3 of the Constitution.

  4. The decree setting the date of elections contains: the date of the election and the date for second round elections.

  5. Elections are held on a Sunday.

Article 5
Hours of Voting

  1. When the date of the elections is on or between March 31 and October 15 of any given year, the voting centers open at 8 AM and close at 6 PM.

  2. When the day of elections is on or between October 16 and March 30, the voting centers open at 7 AM and close at 6 PM.

  3. No one may vote after the hour when the voting centers close, except voters who are waiting to vote at the time of closing.

SECOND PART
VOTERS. ELECTORAL SUBJECTS. OBSERVERS.

CHAPTER I
VOTERS

Article 6
Conditions for Being a Voter

  1. Every Albanian citizen who has reached the age of 18 on or before the election date, and who fulfills the conditions provided in this Code, has the right to vote for elections to the Assembly, local government organs and in referenda.

  2. Citizens declared by final judicial decision as incapable of acting because of mental inability are excluded from the right to vote.

Article 7
Registration of Voters

Voters vote in the voting center in the zone where they are registered on the voters’ list.

Article 8
Voters who Live Outside the State

Voters who live in another state have the right to vote only in the territory of the Republic of Albania at the place where they are registered in the registry of civil status, provided they are registered in the National Registry of Voters, in accordance with the procedures in this Code, and possess a voter card.

Article 9
Voters in Special Locations

Voters who, on the date of the election, are residing in special institutions, military bases or police facilities, as well as students, vote in accordance with the rules provided in this Code.

 

CHAPTER II
CANDIDATES

Article 10
Conditions for Being a Candidate

  1. In addition to the conditions for being a voter, a candidate also meets the conditions of point 3 of article 45 and article 69 of the Constitution.

  2. A candidate for the local government organs, in addition to the conditions provided in article 45 of the Constitution, shall be a citizen domiciled in the respective local government unit. A candidate for the organs of local government may not be a deputy in the Assembly or a candidate for deputy.

  3. The candidates of the party lists deposited with the electoral commissions shall meet the conditions contemplated in points 1 and 2 of this article.

Article 11
Filling Vacancies in the Elected Organs

  1. When the seat of a deputy in the Assembly is vacant, it is filled by a new member.

  2. When the mandate of a deputy elected from the multi-name list of an electoral subject ends prematurely, his seat is filled by the next candidate on the list.

  3. When the mandate of a deputy elected in a single-member zone ends prematurely, the vacancy is filled by a new deputy elected by the voters of the same electoral zone. On the basis of immediate notification by the Speaker of the Assembly, the President of the Republic sets by decree a date for partial elections in that zone, no later than 45 days from receipt of the notification. The deputy elected to fill a vacant seat serves until the end of the mandate of the deputy who left.

  4. When the mandate of a deputy elected in a single-member zone ends prematurely during the last 6 months of the mandate of the Assembly, his seat is filled by the appropriate candidate from the multi-name list of the respective electoral subject. If the mandate of an independent deputy terminates during such period, he is not replaced.

  5. When the seat of a mayor of a municipality or commune is vacant, the Council of Ministers informs the President of the Republic within two weeks. The President of the Republic sets the date of partial elections to choose a new mayor of the municipality or commune within 45 days from the date of notification. When the seat of a council member in the municipality or commune becomes vacant, it is filled by the appropriate candidate of the respective multi-name list.

  6. If the seat of a mayor of a municipality or commune becomes vacant during the last 6 months of his mandate, the respective council elects from its members a new mayor to serve until the end of the mandate.

  7. Partial elections are held according to the same procedure as general elections.

 

CHAPTER III
POLITICAL PARTIES

Article 12
Registration of Political Parties

  1. Every political party that nominates candidates for deputy, candidates for mayor of a municipality or commune or for council members of a municipality or commune, in compliance with the procedures contemplated in this Code, is registered with the CEC as an electoral subject no later than 45 days before election day.

  2. To register with the CEC, a political party shall submit:

  1. verification that the party is registered with the Tirana District Court;

  2. the name, surname and address of the chairman of the party, who is the person authorized to nominate candidates;

  3. the official name, initials and address of the party;

ç) a copy of the party’s seal;

  1. the name and address of the financial officer of the party;

dh) The name and address of the person responsible for communication with the CEC.

Article 13
Registration of Coalitions

Two or more political parties may be registered with the CEC as a coalition by submitting the composition of the coalition and the joint multi-name lists for the Assembly or the local councils.

CHAPTER IV
OBSERVERS

Article 14
The Right to Appoint Observers

  1. Foreign and local non-governmental organizations, as well as international organizations specialized and engaged in the promotion and defense of human rights, have the right to send observers to every voting center and to every election commission.

  2. Every Albanian citizen who meets the conditions for being a voter according to this Code and who is proposed by a subject contemplated in point 1 of this article has the right to be an observer.

  3. The CEC approves the observers’ lists submitted by the subjects contemplated in point 1 of this article and issues authorizations for all observers no later than four days before the date of the voting.

Article 15
Rights and Duties of the Observers

1. While performing their duties the observers have these rights:

  1. to observe all aspects of the preparation and conduct of elections;

  2. to submit written comments to the election commissions for every kind of irregularity that they notice.

2. The observers have these duties:

  1. to respect the requirements of this Code and the instructions of the CEC on election observation;

  2. to act in an impartial manner and not to make propaganda for any candidate, party, or referendum alternative, at the voting centers or in other places prohibited according to the Code;

  3. to present themselves at the election commissions with the authorization issued by the CEC and an identification document accepted by the CEC;

ç) not to bear distinctive signs that serve as means of propaganda or that might influence the voters’ will;

  1. not to interfere with the activity of election commissions.

THIRD PART
ELECTION COMMISSIONS

CHAPTER I
THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION (CEC)

Article 16
Qualifications of Members

  1. Members of the CEC shall possess knowledge and professional experience in one of the following areas: law, administration of elections, public administration, or public relations.

  2. An Albanian citizen domiciled in Albania who meets the following requirements is elected a member of the CEC:

  1. he enjoys the right to vote and to be elected;

  2. he possesses a university degree;

  3. he has not been convicted of a crime by final court decision;

ç) he has not been a member of the steering bodies of a political party during the last three years.

Article 17
Selection of CEC Members

  1. The members of the CEC are selected pursuant to article 154 of the Constitution. The members of the CEC collectively shall satisfy, at any time, the requirements of point 1 of article 16 of this Code.

  2. The President of the Republic appoints two members of the CEC after consultations with groups representing a broad spectrum of society.

  3. The Assembly elects two members of the CEC on the basis of proposals of the Bureau of the Assembly, which draws up two lists with three names each proposed by the groups of the opposition and the parliamentary majority. If none of the candidates of a list receives the required number of votes, the Bureau of the Assembly submits a new list.

  4. The High Council of Justice elects three members of the CEC by secret ballot, on the basis of proposals from the National Judicial Conference and individual applications. All proposals and applications are made public. The National Judicial Conference nominates 6 jurists, at least one of whom is elected a CEC member.

  5. After his election, a member of the CEC immediately resigns from every other state and political activity.

  6. Members of the CEC may be re-appointed only once.

Article 18
Competencies

In implementation of article 153 of the Constitution, the CEC performs these duties:

  1. It issues, for the implementation of the law and within its jurisdictional sphere, decisions and instructions with general legal authority in the entire territory of the Republic.

  2. It decides on the unification of electoral practices.

  3. It manages and reviews the process before and during the elections.

  4. It announces by decision the national final results of the elections, in accordance with the declarations of the ZEC or, as the case may be, the LGEC.

  5. It announces the winning candidates from the multi-name lists for deputy.

  6. It administers the process of voter registration, and maintains the National Voters’ Registry, according to the rules provided in this Code.

  7. It implements education programs for voters and training programs for election commission members.

  8. In compliance with this Code, it appoints and dismisses the members of the ZECs, LGECs and regional election commissions and supervises them during the performance of their duties.

If on the date of the elections for any reason a quorum is not achieved for the holding of meetings of a ZEC, LGEC or VCC, the CEC immediately names the members necessary to constitute a quorum.

  1. It publishes a bulletin of election, which contains the voting results in each electoral unit and voting center as well as a report of election expenses.

  2. Within the month of February of each year, it submits an annual report to the Assembly regarding its activities for the previous year.

  3. It prepares its annual draft budget according to law no. 8379, dated 29.7.1998, "On the Drafting and Implementation of the State Budget."

  4. It administers the funds put at its disposition from the state budget and from other lawful sources, in the service of the elections.

  5. It reviews and decides on the complaints of the representatives of the electoral subjects about the conduct of the voting process, in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

  6. It decides on the compensation of members and non-voting representatives of the election commissions.

  7. It orders administrative penalties against persons who commit administrative offenses related to the elections and brings a criminal complaint when criminal acts are committed in connection with elections.

  8. It performs other duties stemming from this Code or from other laws.

Article 19
Meetings and Decision-Making

  1. Meetings of the CEC are open to the public, with the exception of matters related to personnel issues and budget development.

  2. Meetings of the CEC are called jointly by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the CEC or at the request of at least three of its members. In an election period, the CEC remains in session according to the time schedule specified at the first meeting after the election date is decreed. The time schedule of the meetings is posted in a visible public place at the CEC and is published in the three newspapers with the largest circulation.

  3. Meetings of the CEC are valid when no less than four of its members are present.

  4. Substatutory acts, decisions announcing the results of elections, decisions for the approval of the voters’ lists, and decisions to propose to the Assembly to discharge a CEC member are approved by at least four votes of the CEC. All other decisions are taken by a majority of the members present.

  5. Normative acts of the CEC become effective only upon publication in the Official Journal.

  6. Decisions of the CEC are announced immediately, together with the minority opinion, and are signed by all the CEC members who have voted.

  7. The final results of an election are announced no later than three days from the date when the CEC receives all official data from the electoral commissions or court judgments on appeals against decisions of the electoral commissions. The decision is published in the Official Journal no later than three days from the date the decision is taken.

Article 20
Immunity of Members

  1. A member of the CEC may be criminally prosecuted only with the approval of the Assembly.

  2. A member of the CEC may be detained or arrested only if apprehended while committing a crime or immediately after its commission. In these cases, the competent organ notifies the Constitutional Court immediately. If the Constitutional Court does not consent within 24 hours to bring the arrested judge before a court, the competent organ is obliged to release him.

Article 21
Salary

The salary of a CEC member is equal to the salary of a High Court judge.

The salary of the CEC Chairman and Vice Chairman is 10 per cent higher than the salary of a CEC member.

Article 22
Premature End of Mandate

1. The mandate of a CEC member ends prematurely when:

  1. he is convicted of a crime by final court decision;

  2. he is absent from work for more than three months in a non-election period or for more than 5 consecutive days during an election period;

  3. he loses the right to vote;

ç) he resigns.

  1. In these cases, the chair of the CEC notifies the organ that appointed the member within 24 hours.

Article 23
Discharge of CEC Members

  1. A member of the CEC may be removed by the Assembly by two-thirds of all its members for violation of the Constitution, mental incapacity or physical incapacity that seriously hinders the performance of his duties, or acts and behavior that seriously discredit the integrity and reputation of a CEC member.

  2. The discharge of a CEC member is proposed by one-fifth of the deputies or by the CEC, which decides by the majority contemplated in article 19, point 4 of this Code.

  3. The decision of the Assembly is reviewed by the Constitutional Court, which, when it determines the existence of one of the grounds contemplated in point 1 of this article, declares his removal from office.

Article 24
Rights and Duties of CEC Members

Members of the CEC take part regularly in the meetings of the CEC and perform the duties contemplated in this Code and in the substatutory acts issued by the CEC. They exercise their functions in their individual capacity and vote freely according to their internal convictions.

Article 25
Renewal of the Composition and Replacement of Members

  1. Between March 1 and March 31, 2003, one of the members appointed by the President, one of the members appointed by the Assembly, and one of the members appointed by the High Council of Justice are replaced by the respective organs.

  2. Between March 1 and March 31, 2006, the second member appointed by the President, the second member appointed by the Parliament, and one of the remaining two members initially appointed by the High Council of Justice are replaced by the respective organs.

  3. The members who are replaced pursuant to points 1 and 2 of this article are determined by lots cast 30 days after the effective date of this Code.

  4. The third member initially appointed by the High Council of Justice and the new members appointed according to points 1 and 2 of this article are replaced at the end of their seven year mandate by the respective organs.

  5. The new members are appointed within 30 days from the termination of the mandate of the departed members.

  6. In case the mandate of a member ends prematurely in accordance with article 22 or 23 of this Code, the organ that appointed the departed member appoints a replacement within 30 days from the date of the vacancy notice. The replacement remains in duty until the end of the full mandate of the prematurely departed member.

  7. Notwithstanding point 5 of this article, the membership of the CEC is not changed during an election period. In these cases, the incumbent members are replaced within 30 days from the termination of the election period. In case the mandate of a member ends prematurely during an election period, he is replaced by the respective organ as soon as possible but no later than within 48 hours.

  8. When the seat of the Chairman or the Vice Chairman is vacant, the CEC elects a new chair or vice-chair within 15 days. During an election period, the Chairman or the Vice Chairman is elected as soon as possible but no later than within 48 hours of the creation of the vacancy.

 

Article 26
Privileges after Termination of the Mandate

After the termination of the mandate, a member of the CEC receives all the benefits granted to a judge of the High Court under law no. 8097, dated 21.3.1996, "On State Supplementary Pensions for Persons Who Hold Constitutional Functions and for State Employees." A member of the CEC does not enjoy these privileges when his mandate ends prematurely pursuant to letters "a" or "b" of point 1 of article 22 or article 23 of this Code, except when he is discharged by the Assembly for mental or physical incapacity.

Article 27
The Chairman of the CEC

  1. The CEC elects the Chairman by secret vote from the ranks of its members.

  2. The members of the CEC vote for the Chairman by selecting one of the members on a ballot.

  3. The member of the CEC who has won the majority of the votes of all members is elected Chairman. When none of the members wins the required majority, a second round of voting is held between the two members who won the most votes in the first round.

  4. The Chairman is elected for a three-year period with the right of re-election only once.

  5. The mandate of the Chairman is counted within his term as a member.

Article 28
Duties of the Chairman

The Chairman of the CEC performs these duties:

  1. He chairs meetings of the CEC.

  2. He represents the CEC in relations with third parties.

  3. He performs other duties contemplated in this Code.

Article 29
Vice Chairman of the CEC

  1. The Vice Chairman of the CEC is elected with the same procedure and term as the Chairman of the CEC.

  2. The Vice Chairman performs the duties of the Chairman in his absence.

Article 30
Secretary of the CEC

  1. The Secretary of the CEC is the highest civil servant in the administration of the CEC and is appointed by the CEC on the basis of candidacies selected according to law no. 8549, dated 11.11.1999, "Status of the Civil Servant." The Secretary of the CEC shall be a lawyer with no less than five years of experience in election or public administration and shall meet the criteria for being a member of the CEC.

  2. The Secretary of the CEC performs these duties:

  1. He coordinates the activity of the CEC with the competent organs and ensures implementation of the decisions of the CEC.

  2. He organizes the procedure for the election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the CEC.

  3. He takes measures for the proper conduct of meetings of the CEC.

ç) He takes measures for the publication of normative acts of the CEC in the Official

Journal.

  1. He supervises the filing and maintenance of CEC decisions in a public register.

dh) He directs the administration of the CEC.

  1. He performs other duties set by the CEC.

  1. The Secretary is dismissed by the CEC in accordance with law no. 8549, dated 11.11.1999, "Status of the Civil Servant."

Article 31
Political Party Representatives

  1. Each political party or coalition registered with the CEC may appoint only one non-voting representative to the CEC.

  2. The representatives of the political parties at the CEC have the following rights:

  1. to attend the open meetings of the CEC, make presentations at the meetings and observe the activity of the CEC for the preparation and conduct of elections;

  2. to give written opinions on issues under consideration by the CEC and submit complaints to the CEC for violations of this Code and of the CEC regulations;

  3. to receive copies of the decisions and other acts of the CEC and have access to the documentation of elections through the Secretary of the CEC;

ç) to have their complaints responded to in writing.

  1. The representatives exercise their rights in accordance with the internal regulations of the CEC and, in any case, without hindering the normal functioning of the CEC.

 

CHAPTER II
ZONE ELECTION COMMISSIONS (ZEC)

Article 32
Composition of ZECs

  1. A ZEC consists of a chairman, vice chairman, and up to five members appointed by the CEC upon the nomination of the seven political parties receiving the most votes in the respective zone in the last elections for the Assembly. The chairman and vice chairman are designated respectively by the first two parties that won the most votes in the last elections in the respective zone.

  2. If less than seven parties received votes in the respective zone in the last elections for the Assembly, the ZEC is composed only of the representatives of those political parties that received votes.

  3. The secretary of a ZEC is appointed by the CEC upon the proposal of the ZEC for a period determined by the CEC. The secretary of a ZEC shall be a jurist and has the status of a non-voting member of the ZEC.

  4. Members of a ZEC may not be deputies or candidate for the Assembly or the representative organs of local government, or members of more than one ZEC. Members of the ZEC may not be military personnel or members of structures of the State Police or the State Information Service.

  5. Members of the ZEC shall have a university degree and may not have been convicted of a crime by final court decision.

  6. Members of the ZEC shall have a residence in the respective electoral zone.

  7. The ZEC is a permanent organ, but its members are not full time. The CEC determines the working hours of the ZEC members during the election period and outside of it.

  8. Every political party registered with the CEC as an electoral subject that does not have a member in the ZEC in accordance with point 1 of this article has the right to designate one non-voting representative to the ZEC after nomination of its candidate for the single-member zone or multi-name list candidates.

  9. Independent candidates in the respective zone have the right to designate a non-voting representative to the ZEC.

  10. If a political party represented on the ZEC does not nominate a candidate in that zone and has not submitted a multi-name list for the current election, that party relinquishes its seat on the ZEC.

  11. The ZEC is re-established in accordance with the results of the last elections to the Assembly no later than one month after the declaration of the final results of the elections by the CEC.

  12. When the seat of a member of the ZEC is vacant, it is filled in compliance with the rules provided in this article within 30 days from the date of creation of the vacancy. During the period of the elections, vacant seats are filled within three days.

 

Article 33
Non-Voting Representatives

  1. The non-voting representatives to a ZEC are furnished with an authorization by the party or independent candidate.

  2. The representatives to the ZEC have the same rights as the representatives of the parties to the CEC in accordance with point 2 of article 31 of this Code.

Article 34
Discharge of a ZEC Member

The members of a ZEC are discharged by the CEC for the same reasons that lead to the dismissal of members of the CEC.

Article 35
Duties of a ZEC

A ZEC is responsible for the conduct of the elections for the Assembly within the respective electoral zone and performs these duties:

  1. It is responsible for the administration of the elections in the zone in accordance with the provisions of this Code and the substatutory acts issued by the CEC.

  2. It sets polling unit boundaries, in cooperation with the local government organs and in accordance with CEC instructions.

  3. It establishes the location of each voting center and assigns numbers to each of them.

  4. It appoints the chairman, vice chairman and members of the VCCs in accordance with this Code.

  5. It verifies the documentation of the candidates.

  6. It investigates the complaints of political parties regarding the conduct of elections in the zone.

  7. It posts in a visible place the voters’ lists, the decree setting the election date and other announcements related to the conduct of elections in the zone.

  8. It administers the budget allocated for elections in the zone by the CEC.

  9. It assures the timely distribution of voting materials.

  10. It receives the polling materials, including ballot boxes, from the VCCs.

  11. It prepares the tabulation of election results in the zone and sends it together with other necessary materials to the CEC pursuant to article 107 of this Code.

  12. It announces the election results in the zone.

  13. It administers partial elections in the zone.

  14. It makes arrangements for the recount of ballots.

 

Article 36
Meetings and Decisions of a ZEC

  1. Meetings of a ZEC are public, except as provided in article 107 of this Code.

  2. Decisions in a ZEC are taken by a majority of the voting members present in the presence of at least half of all voting members of the ZEC.

  3. Decisions are signed by all members who have voted. Decisions are accompanied by the opinion of the minority.

Article 37
Actions of a ZEC after Issuance of the Decree
Setting the Date of Assembly Elections

After the decree setting the date for elections comes out, the ZEC publishes it immediately in the local press and electronic media and posts it at the municipality or commune offices and at the civil status offices of the zone. Together with the election decree, the ZEC publishes the location of all voting centers in the zone, the hours of voting, the names of all the members of the ZEC and its secretary, including the address of the office of the commission, its telephone and fax number, and a map of the electoral zone on which every voting center is geographically indicated. The ZEC publishes all other documentation that should be made public in accordance with this Code and the instructions of the CEC.

CHAPTER III
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION COMMISSION (LGEC)

Article 38
Composition of an LGEC

  1. Within every municipality and commune, an LGEC is created, consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman, and up to five members appointed by the CEC upon the nomination of the seven political parties receiving the most votes in the last elections of the respective council. The chairman and vice-chairman are designated respectively by the first two parties that won the most votes in the last elections for the respective council of the municipality or commune.

  2. If less than seven parties received votes in the last elections of the respective council, the LGEC commission is composed only of the representatives of only those political parties that received votes.

  3. The secretary of the municipality or commune serves as secretary of the LGEC for a period determined by the CEC. The secretary has the status of a non-voting member of the LGEC.

  4. Members of an LGEC may not be deputies or candidates for the Assembly or the representative organs of local government, or members of another LGEC. Members of the LGEC may not be military personnel or members of the structures of the State Police or the State Information Service.

  5. Members of the LGEC shall, as a rule, possess a university degree and may not have been convicted of a crime by final court decision.

  6. Members of the LGEC shall have a residence in the respective local unit.

  7. The LGEC is a permanent organ, but its members are not full time. The CEC determines the working hours of the members of the LGEC during the election period or outside of it.

  8. Political parties registered with the CEC as electoral subjects that do not have a member in the LGEC in accordance with point 1 of this article have the right to designate one non-voting representative each to the LGEC after nomination of its candidate for mayor of a commune or municipality, or multi-name list candidates for the local council.

  9. Independent candidates in the respective commune or municipality also have the right to name one non-voting representative each to the LGEC.

  10. If a political party represented on the LGEC does not nominate a candidate for mayor of a commune or municipality and has not submitted a multi-name list for the local council, it relinquishes its seat on the LGEC.

  11. The LGEC is re-established in accordance with the results of the last elections to the local council no later than one month after the declaration of the final results of the local elections by the CEC.

  12. When the seat of a member of the LGEC is vacant, it is filled in compliance with the rules provided in this article within 30 days from the date of creation of the vacancy. During the period of the elections, vacant seats are filled within three days.

Article 39
Non-Voting Representatives

  1. The non-voting representatives to the LGEC are furnished with an authorization by the party or independent candidate.

  2. The representatives to the LGEC have the same rights as the representatives of the parties to the CEC, in accordance with point 2 of article 31 of this Code.

Article 40
Discharge of Members

The members of an LGEC are discharged by the CEC for the same reasons that lead to the discharge of a member of the CEC.

Article 41
Duties of an LGEC

An LGEC performs these duties:

  1. It is responsible for the administration of the elections for the organs of local government; it is responsible for posting, revising, and approving the preliminary voters’ lists of the respective municipality or commune, according to the rules provided in this Code and the instructions of the CEC.

  2. It sets the polling unit boundaries in the municipality or commune in cooperation with the organs of local government.

  3. It performs by analogy the same duties that this Code contemplates for a ZEC.

  4. In case of parliamentary elections, it send the revised voters’ lists to the ZEC.

Article 42
Meetings and Decisions of the LGEC

  1. Meetings of the LGEC are public, except as provided in article 107 of this Code.

  2. Decisions in an LGEC are taken by a majority of the votes in the presence of more than half of all voting members of the LGEC.

  3. Decisions are signed by all members who have voted. The decisions are accompanied by the opinion of the minority.

CHAPTER IV
VOTING CENTER COMMISSION
 

Article 43
Composition of VCCs

  1. Within every polling unit, a VCC is created, consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman, and up to five members proposed by the seven political parties that received the most votes in the last parliamentary elections for the respective single-member zone, or in the last local elections for the respective local council. The chairman and vice-chairman are designated respectively by the two first parties that won the most votes in the last elections in the respective electoral unit.

  2. If less than seven parties received votes in the last elections contemplated in point 1 of this article, the VCC is composed only of the representatives of those political parties that received votes.

  3. The secretary of the VCC is appointed by the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate. The secretary has the status of a non-voting member of the VCC.

  4. Members of the VCC may not be deputies or candidates for the Assembly or the representative organs of local government, or members of another VCC. The members of the VCC may not be military personnel or members of the structures of the State Police or the State Information Services.

  5. Members of the VCC shall not have been convicted of a crime by final court decision.

  6. Members of the VCC shall have a residence in the respective polling unit.

  7. The members of the VCC are appointed only for the period of the elections. The appointment of the members is done in any case no later than 10 days before the date of the elections.

  8. Political parties registered with the CEC as electoral subjects that do not have a member in the VCC in accordance with point 1 of this article have the right to designate a non-voting representative who has the rights specified in the seventh part of this Code.

  9. Independent candidates have the right to designate one non-voting representative to the VCC.

  10. When the seat of a member of the VCC is vacant, it is filled in compliance with the rules provided in this article within 30 days from the date of creation of the vacancy. During the period of the elections, vacant seats are filled within three days.

Article 44
Duties of a VCC

  1. The VCCs are set up and function for all kinds of elections.

  2. Members of the VCC are responsible for the conduct of the elections in the voting center, implementing the duties prescribed this Code.

Article 45
Decision-making in the VCC

  1. Decisions in the VCC are taken by a majority of votes in the presence of more than half of all voting members of the VCC.

  2. Decisions are signed by all members who have voted. Decisions are accompanied by the opinion of the minority.

Article 46
Voting Materials

  1. The CEC provides the ZECs and the LGECs with the materials necessary for each voting center no later than 7 days before the date of the elections.

  2. The ZEC, LGEC, and VCC secure the election materials in a safe place, in accordance with CEC instructions.

  3. No earlier than 48 hours and no later than 24 hours before the opening of the voting center, the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, distributes the materials to the chairmen and secretaries of the VCCs.

  4. One copy of the document showing receipt of the materials is kept with the official records of the voting center.

CHAPTER V
SPECIAL VCCs

Article 47
Composition and Responsibilities of Special VCCs

In accordance with this Code and the instructions of the CEC, a ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, creates special voting center commissions in hospitals, prisons or places of pre-detention and dormitories. These commissions have the same composition and the same responsibilities as a VCC.

FOURTH PART
NATIONAL REGISTRY OF VOTERS

CHAPTER I
THE COMPETENT AUTHORITIES

Article 48
The Competent Organ

  1. The National Registry of Voters is prepared under the supervision of the CEC. It contains data and is prepared in accordance with the provisions of this Code and the substatutory acts issued by the CEC for its implementation.

  2. The National Registry of Voters is prepared on the basis of official data drawn from the civil status registries.

Article 49

Directorate of Registration of Voters

  1. For the administration of the National Registry of Voters, the CEC creates the Directorate of Registration of Voters.

  2. The Directorate of Registration of Voters is responsible for implementing the decisions of the CEC connected with the registration of voters. It performs these duties:

  1. It administers the National Registry of Voters.

  2. It prepares for the CEC the instructions to the offices of civil status on the method of compilation of the voter lists.

  3. It organizes and directs the registration of voters door to door whenever it is considered necessary.

ç) It performs other duties in connection with the registration of voters set by the CEC.

Article 50
Voter Card

  1. Every voter registered on the National Registry of Voters is furnished with a voter card in accordance with the instructions of the CEC.

  2. The voter card is collected only by the voter in person.

  3. The voter card contains a photograph of the voter and a unique voter identification number.

  4. When the voter card is lost or becomes unusable, the voter is furnished with a new card, in accordance with the rules specified by the CEC.

CHAPTER II
PREPARATION OF THE VOTERS’ LISTS

Article 51
National Registry of Voters

The National Registry of Voters is composed of the voters’ lists of all municipalities and communes.

Article 52
Registration According to Domicile and Residence

  1. Voters are registered on the voters’ list of the polling unit for their domicile, with the exception of the cases contemplated in point 2 of this article.

  2. Voters who are residing away from their domicile, but within the territory of the Republic of Albania, are registered on the list of the polling unit of their place of residence, and are de-registered from the list of the polling unit of their domicile.

  3. The LGEC of the residence of the voter registers him in the preliminary lists of voters of the respective polling unit and notifies the CEC, which orders the de-registration of the voter from the list of voters of his domicile.

Article 53
Preliminary Voters’ Lists

  1. Preliminary voters’ lists are drawn from the registries of civil status.

  2. The voters’ lists contain:

  1. The name, surname, father’s name, date of birth, address and voter card number.

  2. The name of the commune or municipality or the number of the electoral zone, as well as the number of the voting center.

Article 54
Updating the Preliminary Voters’ Lists

  1. Four months before the end of the mandate of the Assembly or local government organs, the CEC requests the National Office of Civil Status to prepare, within two weeks, the preliminary voters’ lists according to the particular election to be held. The CEC sends immediately to each LGEC four copies of the preliminary voters’ lists.

  2. The LGEC immediately posts the preliminary lists in a public place, making the respective announcement of the dates and time schedule for receiving voters’ complaints. Every voter or political party has the right to request from the LGEC the correction of inaccuracies in the preliminary voters’ lists, according to the requirements set forth in article 12 of the Civil Code and articles 55 through 58 of this Code.

  3. When an LGEC considers it necessary, and with the approval of the CEC, it establishes door-to-door verification groups, which have the duty of confirming the accuracy of the data in the lists. When they notice inaccuracies, the verification groups fill out the respective forms and deliver them to the LGEC.

  4. The CEC specifies the rules for the composition of the verification groups and the rules for the performance of the verification.

  5. In case of early elections to the Assembly, partial elections and referenda, the procedures provided in points 1 to 4 of this article are followed, to the extent possible and adjusted to meet the circumstances.

Article 55
Grounds for Revision of the Preliminary Voters’ Lists

  1. Voters’ lists are revised when a voter:

  1. dies;

  2. has lost the right to vote;

  3. was registered in more than one list;

ç) has moved his domicile or residence; or

  1. shows that his personal data are incorrect.

  1. In the case of letter ç of point 1, the voter is registered in the appropriate voters’ list according to CEC instructions.

Article 56
Prohibition of Changing the Lists

The LGEC may not make changes to the preliminary voters’ lists during the last 23 days before the date of the elections.

Article 57
Promulgation of Final Lists

  1. After the termination of the period for revising the preliminary lists, each LGEC sends the revised list for its electoral unit to the CEC within 24 hours.

  2. The CEC enters the revised lists into the National Registry of Voters. The Directorate of Registration of Voters sends the final lists to the ZECs or LGECs, as appropriate, or to other commissions contemplated by this Code no later than two weeks before the date of the elections.

  3. The respective commissions post the final lists within 48 hours from the date of their receipt from the CEC.

  4. The ZEC or LGEC sends the final lists to the VCCs no later than three days before the date of the elections. The ZECs and LGECs keep a copy of the final voters’ lists.

Article 58
Access to the Voters’ Lists by Electoral Subjects

  1. The CEC makes the preliminary lists prepared in accordance with article 54 of this Code available to all registered political parties, at their request and upon payment.

  2. After the expiration of the registration period for the candidates, the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, makes available to the electoral subjects a copy of the revised list sent to the CEC as provided in article 57.1 of this Code, at their request and against payment.

  3. After approval of the final voters’ lists, the CEC makes available to the central offices of each registered political party, at their request and against payment, a copy of the lists.

  4. The candidates and parties use the voters’ lists only to verify their accuracy and in compliance with the law.

  5. The CEC sets the manner of delivery of, and fees to be charged for, the voters’ lists provided to electoral subjects.

Article 59
Special Institutions

  1. For general referenda and elections, two days prior to the date of voting, the director of the special institution prepares a list of voters and delivers it to the ZEC.

  2. For local referenda and elections, two days prior to the day of voting, the director of the special institution prepares a list of those residents who are domiciled in the electoral unit where the institution is located and delivers it to the LGEC.

Article 60
Voters in Military Forces and Police Forces

  1. Immediately after the date of the elections for the Assembly is set, the Ministry of Defense and other competent central institutions, at the request of the CEC, instruct the commanding officers of the respective bases to prepare a list of voters who will be residing on that base on the date of the elections.

  2. The list of voters who will be residing on the base on the date of the elections is delivered to the ZEC no later than fifteen days after the date of the elections is set.

  3. The ZEC adds the list of voters residing on the base to the list of voters for the respective electoral unit. They are struck off the list of voters for their place of domicile in compliance with the procedures designated by the CEC.

Article 61
Students

Students may vote in their place of residence in accordance with substatutory acts of the CEC. The CEC takes measures so that students are not registered on more than one voters’ list.

 

FIFTH PART
SYSTEM OF ELECTIONS

CHAPTER I
SYSTEM OF ELECTIONS FOR THE ASSEMBLY

Article 62
Composition of the Assembly

The Assembly of the Republic of Albania is composed of 140 deputies, of whom 100 are elected directly by the voters in single-member electoral zones and 40 are elected according to the proportional percentage of the votes won in the first round of elections from the multi-name lists of electoral subjects deposited at the CEC.

Article 63
Election of Deputies in Single-Member Zones

  1. A candidate who wins an absolute majority of the valid votes of the voters who have taken part in the voting in a single-member zone is considered elected the deputy of the zone to the Assembly.

  2. If, in the first round of elections, none of the candidates wins an absolute majority, then after two weeks, a second round of elections is held. In the second round of elections, the two candidates who have received the greatest number of votes in the first round compete.

  3. If a candidate withdraws from the second round, the candidate who has won the most votes compared to the other remaining candidates competes in his place in the second round.

  4. When three or more candidates win an equal number of votes in the first round, then the two candidates who will compete in the second round are decided by lot. The same procedure is followed to choose the second candidate when one has been determined and the others have an equal number of votes.

  5. After determining the need for a second round of elections, the ZEC announces the candidates to be voted on in this round. The announcement is made at the same time as the issuance of the results of the voting in the zone.

Article 64
Voting in the Second Round

  1. In the second round of elections, the candidate who has won a majority of the valid votes is considered elected the deputy to the Assembly.

  2. If, even after the second round of elections, the candidates have won an equal number of votes, then one of the candidates is elected the deputy of the zone by lot.

  3. The CEC organizes the lot procedure whenever it is necessary. The lots are organized in the presence of the candidates.

Article 65
Joint Candidates

  1. Political parties registered in the CEC have the right to nominate joint candidates for deputy.

  2. Coalitions of political parties registered in the CEC may submit joint multi-name lists of candidates.

  3. The submission of joint candidates and joint multi-name lists is made according to the time periods provided in article 76 of this Code.

Article 66
Allocation of compensatory mandates

  1. Forty compensatory seats are allocated according to the following rules to political parties and coalitions of political parties.

  1. Parties that win less than 2.5% and coalitions that win less than 4% of the valid votes in the whole country in the first round do not benefit from compensatory seats.

  2. The number of valid votes won by each of the parties and coalitions meeting the respective threshold is divided by the sum of valid votes they have obtained on the national level, and the result is multiplied by 140. Each of these parties and coalitions are allocated initially as many seats in total as the full number obtained by the above-mentioned calculation. The remaining seats are allocated to the subjects with the larger remainders. In case the remainders for the last seat are equal, lots are drawn.

  3. In order to determine the number of compensatory seats to be allocated to each party or coalition, the number of seats won in single-member zones is deducted from the number of seats allocated to each party or coalition according to letter "b" of this article. If the difference is negative or zero, the party or coalition keeps only the mandates won in single-member zones.

ç) Notwithstanding letter "b," if:

  1. independent candidates are elected in one or more single-member zones;

  2. parties or coalitions that do not meet the respective threshold win seats in one or more single-member zones; or

  3. parties or coalitions that meet the respective threshold win more seats in single-member zones than they are entitled to on the basis of letter "b,"

then the following formula applies to the allocation of compensatory seats to parties or coalitions for which the difference according to letter "c" is positive:

N = (A – B) [40/(40 + C)]. N is the number of compensatory seats of each party or coalition, A is the number of seats allocated to each party or coalition according to letter "b," B is the number of seats it won in single-member zones, and C is the total number of seats won according to points "i," "ii," and "iii" of this letter (in the cast of point "iii," only to the extent of the excess). Each of these parties and coalitions are allocated initially as many seats as the full number obtained by this calculation. The seats that remain are allocated to the subjects with the larger remainders, in descending order. In case the remainders for the last seat are equal, lots are drawn.

  1. If a single-member zone deputy was elected as a joint candidate of two or more parties not in a coalition, for purposes of the calculation of letter "c," his seat is considered to have been won by the party among those nominating him that gained the greatest number of votes in the whole country in the first round, unless the parties have agreed otherwise.

dh) Deputies are elected from the multi-name lists of parties or party coalitions according to their respective order.

  1. If the number of candidates on a multi-name list of a political party or coalition is smaller than the number of seats to which that party or coalition is entitled, according to this article, the unfilled seats are divided among the other parties and coalitions of parties that exceed the respective threshold in accordance with the following formula:

The number of valid votes won by each of the above parties or coalitions is divided by the total of the valid votes won by them, and the result is multiplied by the number of unfilled seats. A number of compensatory seats is initially allocated to each of these parties or coalitions equal to the full number that results from the above calculation. The seats that remain are allocated to the parties or coalitions with the largest decimal remainders. If the decimal remainders for the last seat are equal, lots are drawn.

CHAPTER II
ELECTORAL ZONES

Article 67
Single-Member Electoral Zones

  1. For purposes of elections to the Assembly, the territory of the Republic is divided into 100 single-member electoral zones.

  2. The boundaries of the electoral zones may not be changed during the last six months of the mandate of the Assembly.

Article 68

Electoral Zone Boundary Commission

  1. Electoral zone boundaries are established by a law of the Assembly in accordance with the recommendations of the Electoral Zone Boundary Commission.

  2. An Electoral Zone Boundary Commission (the Commission) meets every five years, beginning on August 1, 2000, for the purpose of reviewing the electoral zone boundaries in accordance with the criteria set forth in this Code.

  3. The Commission consists of the following members:

  1. the Secretary of the CEC;

  2. the Director of the Institute of Statistics;

  3. the Head Registrar of Immovable Property;

  4. the Director of the Center of Geographic Studies of the Academy of Sciences.

  1. The chairman of the CEC calls the first meeting of the Commission, after which the Secretary of the CEC serves as Chairman of this Commission.

  2. The CEC provides for the budget and administrative support services for the Commission.

Article 69
Procedures for Setting Electoral Zones

  1. Within three months of its establishment, the Commission issues an interim report with initial recommendations regarding electoral zone boundaries. The interim report is made available to each registered political party, the media and any other interested party who requests a copy.

  2. Beginning two weeks after the issuance of the interim report, the Commission holds a series of public meetings at which registered political parties and other interested parties have the right to make a presentation to the Commission regarding the contents of the interim report.

  3. The Commission considers its interim recommendations taking into account the presentations made in the public meetings and submits a final report on setting the electoral zones to the Assembly no later than the first Monday of December of the respective year.

Article 70
Commission Reports

  1. The interim and final report of the Commission indicates the average number of voters for an electoral zone, the number of voters in each electoral zone along with the difference between the average and the estimated number of voters for each zone; a map of each electoral zone; a list of municipalities and communes within each zone; and a written description of the boundaries of each electoral zone.

  2. The final report also contains a summary of the presentations made at the public hearings and the decisions of the Commission in connection with them.

Article 71
Criteria for Establishing Electoral Zone Boundaries

For the purpose of establishing electoral zone boundaries, the Commission follows the procedures set out in this article:

  1. It obtains from the CEC the total number of voters and the number of voters in each existing electoral unit and polling unit. These data are taken from the National Registry of Voters as it exists on August 1 of the respective year.

  2. It obtains from the CEC and other competent sources maps for the existing electoral zones, municipalities and communes, and polling units and any other map its deems necessary.

  3. It establishes the average number of voters for the zone by dividing the total number of voters contained in the National Registry of Voters by the number of single member electoral zones.

  4. It determine the percentage deviation from the average number of voters for each zone.

  5. It reviews all electoral zone boundaries in an effort to ensure that, as much as possible, the number of voters in each zone is no less or no greater than 5 per cent of the average number.

  6. When the number of voters in a municipality is within plus or minus 5% of the average number of voters, that municipality or commune shall constitute an electoral zone.

  7. As much as possible, a commune shall be wholly included within one electoral zone, and a municipality with a total number of voters smaller than the number contemplated in point 6 shall not be divided into more than two electoral zones.

  8. In addition to the rule provided in point 5 of this article, the Commission also takes the following issues into account when establishing zone boundaries:

  1. traditional ties and common interests of local communities;

  2. natural barriers and boundaries;

  3. communication and transportation linkages;

ç) boundaries of regions.

  1. The electoral zones shall be compact and may not be divided into parts that are separate from one another.

Article 72
Review of the Final Report

  1. The Assembly examines the final report of the Commission within two weeks from receiving it. The Assembly accepts the report and approves the law on electoral zones, embodying the recommendations of the final report, or refers it back to the Commission for further consideration. The Assembly may not change the boundaries recommended by the Commission.

  2. If the Assembly sends the report back for further consideration, the Commission undertakes a review of its recommendations and submits a second report within 30 days. The Assembly examines the new report within 15 days.

Article 73
Effective Date of New Zone Boundaries

  1. The law on the electoral zones comes into effect on the effective date of the decree of the President of the Republic setting the date of the nearest elections, except if point 3 of this article applies.

  2. Notwithstanding point 1 of this article, the CEC may exercise its functions according to the new boundaries contemplated in the law on electoral zones after the law becomes effective.

  3. If the Assembly does not approve the law on electoral zones before the last six months of its mandate, the existing boundaries apply to the next parliamentary elections.

  4. If the date of elections for the Assembly or the date of local government elections is announced after the boundary review has begun, the Commission continues its work but may not hold a public meeting or issue a public interim report until after the official declaration of election results is made by the CEC.

  5. In the period between the approval of the new law on electoral zones and new elections for the Assembly, partial elections are held according to the zones existing at the time of the last elections for the Assembly.

 

CHAPTER III
SYSTEM OF LOCAL ELECTIONS

Article 74
System of Local Elections

  1. The mayors of the municipalities or communes, as well as members of the councils of municipalities or communes, are elected by direct voting by the voters with a domicile in the territory of the municipality or commune.

  2. The members of the councils of the municipalities and communes are elected on the basis of the multi-name lists submitted by political parties and coalitions, as well as on the basis of individual independent candidacies.

  3. Political parties registered in the CEC have the right to submit joint candidates for mayor of a municipality or commune, as well as joint multi-name lists for local councils.

 

Article 75
Election of the Organs of Local Government

  1. The candidate who wins more than half of all valid votes is elected mayor of a municipality or commune. If no candidate wins the required majority, a second round of voting is organized, implementing by analogy article 63 and 64 of this Code.

  2. The mandates of the local councils are allocated by the LGEC on the basis of the following proportional system:

  1. The number of valid votes won by each independent candidate is divided by the total number of valid votes and multiplied by the number of seats of the council. If the result is equal to or higher than 1, the independent candidate wins a seat in the council.

  2. The number of valid votes won by each party or coalition and each independent candidate who failed to obtain a seat according to letter "a" of point 2 of this article is divided by the sum of valid votes they have obtained, and the result is multiplied by the number of seats that remain after letter "a" of point 2 of this article is applied. Each of these electoral subjects wins as many seats as the full number obtained from the above-mentioned calculation. If for an independent candidate the result is one or greater than one, the independent candidate wins only one seat. The remaining seats are allocated to the electoral subjects with the larger remainders. In case the remainders for the last seat are equal, lots are drawn.

  3. The candidates of parties or coalitions are elected to the local councils according to the order of the respective multi-name list.

  4. If the number of candidates on a multi-name list of a party or coalition is smaller than the number of seats to which that party or coalition is entitled according to this article, the unfilled seats are divided among the other parties and coalitions of parties that have submitted multi-name lists in accordance with the following formula:

The number of valid votes won by each of the above parties or coalitions is divided by the total of the valid votes won by them, and the result is multiplied by the number of unfilled seats. A number of seats is initially allocated to each of these parties or coalitions equal to the full number that results from the above calculation. The seats that remain are allocated to the parties or coalitions with the largest decimal remainders. If the decimal remainders for the last seat are equal, lots are drawn.  

SIXTH PART
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

CHAPTER I
CANDIDATES VOTED ON DIRECTLY

Article 76
Submission of the Documents of the Candidate

  1. Documents for the nomination of candidates for deputy, for mayor of a municipality or commune or for the council of a municipality or commune are submitted respectively to the ZEC or the LGEC, as appropriate, no later than 22 days before the date of the elections. The respective commissions take a decision on accepting or not accepting the documentation submitted no later than 19 days before the date of the elections.

  2. If the commissions notice a discrepancy or irregularity in the documentation of candidacy before the end of the term for certifying them, according to point 1 of this article, the commission gives the candidate the opportunity to correct the discrepancies, setting a time limit for the resubmission of the documentation, but no later than 19 days before the date of the elections.

  3. No later than three days after the decree of the President of the Republic setting the date of the elections comes out, the CEC provides the nomination documents to be completed by the candidate along with the form for collecting signatures according to article 78 of this Code.

Article 77
Requirements for the Validity of the Candidacy Documents

  1. The candidacy documents shall be in compliance with the requirements of this Code and in the form specified in the instructions of the CEC.

  2. The candidacy documents contain the following data:

  1. The name, father’s name, surname, date of birth and address of the candidate;

  2. The declaration of the candidate that he is a qualified voter and an eligible candidate for the position for which he is running;

  3. the name and address of a person named as his official agent, who shall be an eligible voter;

ç) a list signed by voters of the respective zone who support his candidacy as provided in article 78 of this Code;

d) except in the case of independent candidates, a declaration from the party endorsing the candidate, signed by the chairman of the party as identified in article 12 of this Code.

 

Article 78
List of Voters who Support the Candidate

  1. For candidates for deputy, the candidacy documents are accompanied by a list with the signatures and voter identification numbers of 300 voters who reside in the zone, the names of whom are on the preliminary voters’ lists of that electoral zone.

  2. Candidates for the post of mayor of a municipality or commune submit the following documentation:

  1. for electoral units with up to 5,000 voters on the voters’ lists, a list with the signatures and identification numbers of 50 voters, registered in the preliminary voters’ lists;

  2. for electoral units with 5,000 voters up to 30,000 voters, a list with the signatures and identification numbers of 100 voters, registered in the preliminary voters’ lists;

  3. for electoral units with more than 30,000 voters, a list with the signatures and identification numbers of 300 voters, registered in the preliminary voters’ lists.

Article 79
Substitution of a Candidate

  1. A candidate may withdraw his candidacy within 24 hours of certification by the commission. A candidate who withdraws after the certification made by the commission may not be replaced by the political party he represents.

  2. If a registered candidate dies before the date of the elections, then the elections in that zone are postponed for four weeks. In this case the CEC sets another date for nomination of a replacement candidacy.

  3. Immediately after the deadline for the withdrawal of a candidacy, the respective election commission carries out these duties:

  1. it forwards a final list of certified candidates to the CEC; and

  2. it publishes in newspapers, posters and electronic media within the jurisdiction of the electoral unit the names and political affiliation of all candidates in the order they appear on the ballot, in the manner and at the time required by the CEC.

  1. In the case of elections for the Assembly or for mayor of a municipality or commune, the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, publishes the name and address of the official representative of the candidate.

Article 80
Representative of the Candidate

  1. Within 48 hours from the certification of their candidacy documentation, each candidate shall give the name of his representative to the CEC. The representatives of the candidates at the VCCs are accredited by the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate. The designation of representatives is not obligatory.

  2. During the conduct of the voting, the representatives of the candidates keep their identification document in a visible place. They may not wear clothes or symbols or perform actions that have the purpose of influencing or that might influence the will of the voters.

  3. The representative of a candidate may be substituted by the candidate or his official agent but not during the last 24 hours before the close of the voting and during the counting of votes in the voting center.

CHAPTER II
LIST CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIONS TO THE ASSEMBLY

Article 81
Submission of the Lists

  1. Political parties registered as electoral subjects submit to the CEC a list of candidates for the 40 seats in the Assembly within the time period provided for in article 76 of this Code.

  2. The ordering of the candidates in the list is set by the electoral subject that submits it. In the case of the death, resignation or loss of the right to be a list candidate according to this Code, the candidates listed below move up one place.

  3. The lists of the parties are signed by the chairman of the party, or, as the case may be, by the chairmen of the parties of the coalition. The list is accompanied by a declaration signed by each candidate that he is eligible to vote and desires to run.

Article 82
Acceptance of the Lists

When political parties submit a list of fewer than 20 candidates, the list is not accepted by the CEC.

Article 83
Verification of the Lists by the CEC

  1. The CEC certifies the regularity of the multi-name lists according to the time periods and procedures contemplated in article 76 of this Code for the certification of direct candidates.

  2. After certification of the multi-name lists, the CEC publishes them in the three newspapers with the largest national circulation and in the electronic media and sends a copy of the list to the ZECs, which publish them in the local media and announce them in public places in their zone according to the instructions received from the CEC.

  3. The names on the certified multi-name lists may not be changed.

CHAPTER III
LISTS CANDIDATES FOR THE ORGANS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Article 84
Conditions for Validity of the Lists

For the nomination of candidates for the members of the councils of municipalities and communes, registered political parties submit a list of candidates to the LGEC according to these conditions:

  1. Within the same time period for submissions of candidacies for mayor of the municipality and commune, they forward to the LGEC a list of candidates according to the form prepared by the CEC.

  2. Every candidate on the list declares that he accepts his nomination by the respective electoral subject.

  3. The list is signed by the chairman of the party or a person authorized by him to endorse candidates.

ç) If a list candidates dies, the candidate listed below moves up.

Article 85
Non-acceptance of the Lists

  1. An LGEC does not accept a list of candidates when the number of candidates on the list is less than half of the number of council members.

  2. The ordering of the candidates on the list is set by the electoral subject that submits it.

Article 86
Certification and Publication of the Lists

The LGEC certifies the lists submitted by the parties. After the certification, the LGEC publishes the lists in the local press and media and announces them in the territory of the municipality or commune and immediately forwards a copy to the CEC. 

SEVENTH PART
VOTING PROCEDURES

CHAPTER I
BALLOTS

Article 87
Preparation and Content of the Ballots

  1. The ballots for elections are prepared by the CEC. The ballot shall not be not transparent and shall contain security elements specified by the CEC.

  2. The ballots are produced in blocks with stubs. The serial number is noted only on the stub.

  3. For elections to the Assembly, the voter votes with two separate ballots of different colors, one ballot for the candidates who are competing directly in the zone and the other for the political parties that are competing in the elections. The ballot for electoral subjects is the same for all electoral zones.

  4. For elections for the local government organs, the ballot for the candidates for the municipal or communal council is of a different color from the ballot for the candidates for mayor of the municipality or commune.

Article 88
The Form of the Ballot

  1. The ballot is printed according to the model prepared by the CEC. The back of the ballot has a place for putting the signature of the chairman and the vice chairman and the seal of the VCC.

  2. Failure to sign the ballot by one of the subjects indicated in point 1 of this article does not constitute a reason not to begin the voting procedures.

Article 89
Sending Ballots and Other Materials

  1. The CEC forwards the necessary number of ballots, seals, poll records and other voting materials to the ZECs or LGECs, as appropriate, no later than three days before the date of the elections.

  2. The ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, sends the necessary number of ballots and other voting materials to the VCCs no later than 12 hours before the opening of voting.

  3. Ballots are printed on the basis of the total number of voters, plus two per cent.

  4. The CEC specifies the additional number of ballots that are sent to the voting centers.

 

Article 90
Names of the Candidates and Subjects on the Ballot

  1. The names of candidates for deputy, or mayor of a municipality or commune, are placed on the ballot according to the alphabetical order of their name.

  2. Written on the ballot are:

  1. the first name, father’s first name, and surname of the candidate as it appears on the documents of candidacy;

  2. the name and initials of the party or coalition the candidate represents, or the word "independent," is written to the right of the candidate’s name;

  3. no other data about the candidate is written.

  1. On the ballot of electoral subjects, the names of the registered political parties are placed in alphabetical order, together with the initials of the party.

  2. The voter marks in a separate place at the side of the name of the candidate or party one of the signs ‘x’ or ‘+’ or a mark that clearly indicates the choice of the voter.

CHAPTER II
POLLING UNITS AND VOTING CENTERS

Article 91
Establishing a Polling Unit

  1. A polling unit may not be divided into parts that are separate from one another.

  2. As much as possible, a polling unit shall have no more than 1,000 voters. If it is found that a polling unit has more than 1,000 voters, the LGEC or ZEC, as appropriate, may establish more than one voting center for that polling unit.

  3. When a residential center with at least 50 voters is more than three kilometers away from the closest voting center, a separate voting center is set up in that residential center, if it has at least 50 voters.

  4. A polling unit is established by the ZEC or the LGEC but, as much as possible, the ZEC shall keep the polling unit boundaries established by the LGECs in its zone.

Article 92
Location of the Voting Center

  1. One or more voting centers are established in each polling unit.

  2. As much as possible, a voting center is located in a public building accessible to voters. A voting center may not be set up in:

  1. a private residence without the authorization of the CEC;

  2. a building used by the public administration, except for educational and health institutions;

  3. buildings owned or occupied fully or partially by a political party or candidate or their close relatives.

Article 93
Voting Centers in Special Locations

  1. When in a special institution there are 15 or more voters eligible to vote for the electoral unit where the institution is located, the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, creates a voting center inside the institution for those persons.

  2. In health institutions that have many wards, a separate voting center may be set up for each ward, if each of them has more than 15 voters.

  3. Voters in military and police bases vote in the nearest ordinary voting center outside the base, as designated by the ZEC.

  4. Students registered in the voters’ lists according to article 61 of this Code vote only in the polling unit where they have been added to the list.

CHAPTER III
PROCEDURES FOR OPENING THE VOTING

Article 94
Preliminary Actions

  1. One hour prior to the opening of the voting, the VCC, under the direction of its chairman and vice chairman and in the presence of the representatives of the electoral subjects and observers, performs these duties:

  1. It arranges the tables, chairs and voting booths in such a manner as to assure the secrecy of the voting and the free and rapid movement of voters.

  2. It removes any election propaganda that may be found within the voting center and within a range of 150 meters around it.

  3. It posts instructions for voting at a suitable place within the voting center.

ç) It sets up other materials required by the CEC.

  1. It checks all materials received, shows the empty ballot box to the representatives of electoral subjects and seals it in the manner prescribed by the CEC.

  1. All members of the VCC and the representatives of the candidates or registered parties who are present sign the opening statement of the voting center.

Article 95
Opening the Polls and Presence of Members

  1. After performance of the procedures provided in article 94 of this Code, the chairman of the VCC declares the voting open, but not before the time prescribed in article 5 of this Code.

  2. The secretary of the VCC notes in the official records of the voting center the time of departure and return of any member who leaves the voting center.

CHAPTER IV
PROCEDURES DURING VOTING

Article 96
Number of Ballot Boxes

  1. In elections for the Assembly, two boxes are set up in the voting center, one of which is used for voting for the candidates of the zone and the other for political parties or coalitions.

  2. In local elections, one box is used for voting for candidates for mayor of the municipality or commune and another box is used for the candidates for the council of the municipality or commune.

  3. For voting on a referendum, one ballot box is used for each issue upon which to be voted.

Article 97
Presentation of Voters in the Voting Center

  1. After entering the voting center, the voter states his name and presents his voter card to the VCC.

  2. The chairman confirms that the number on the voter card is the same as the number beside the name of the voter on the list of voters for the polling unit.

  3. After confirming that the name and voter number are correct, the chairman strikes the name of the voter; the voter signs the voters’ list beside his name; the ballot is signed according to the rules provided in article 88 of this Code; and the secretary places the seal of the VCC on the back of the ballot and gives it to the voter.

  4. If a voter is not provided with a ballot pursuant to point 3 of this article, the incident is recorded in the official record, detailing the name of the person, the identification number on the card and any other relevant information.

  5. If a representative of a candidate or a member of the VCC questions the identity of a voter who has been provided with a ballot, the incident is included in the official record detailing the person who made the objection, the reasons for the objection, the name and identification number of the voter and the reasons why the chairman of the VCC provided that person with a ballot.

Article 98
Voting

  1. On receipt of the ballot, the voter proceeds to the closed room booth and votes by marking the ballot in the space provided.

  2. After voting in the closed room, the voter folds the ballot so that his mark cannot be seen and leaves the voting booth.

  3. Before the voter deposits the folded ballot in the ballot box, the chairman or a member designated by him checks that it contains the correct VCC seal and the signatures according to article 88 of this Code.

  4. The voter then deposits the ballot into the ballot box and leaves the voting center.

  5. With the exception of article 100 of this Code, a voter votes only for himself.

Article 99
Spoiled Ballots

  1. If a ballot is marked outside the voting booth, the ballot is placed not in the ballot box but in the envelope for spoiled ballots. In this case, the voter is given a second ballot and the incident is recorded in the official record. If the voter again marks the ballot outside the voting booth, the ballot is again placed in the envelope for spoiled ballots and the voter is not given another ballot.

  2. If a voter marks or damages the ballot accidentally and requests a second ballot, the ballot is considered spoiled and placed in the envelope for spoiled ballots and the voter is provided with a second ballot. This incident is recorded in the official record. A voter who damages the second ballot is not given another.

  3. Spoiled ballots are in no event placed in the ballot box.

Article 100
A Voter who Cannot Vote Himself

  1. A voter who, for physical reasons, is unable to vote for himself, may request the help of another voter who is on the list of voters for that polling unit. Both voters must be present in the voting center when this procedure is used.

  2. A person may help only one voter who cannot vote himself.

  3. Before marking the ballot, a person who assists another voter makes a declaration in the official record that he will mark the ballot as instructed and has not assisted any other voter.

  4. No members of the election commissions of any level may help voters who are unable to vote themselves.

  5. The mark selection on the ballot must be made in the voting booth.

Article 101
Keeping Order at the Voting Center

  1. When order and the orderly conduct of the voting are endangered at the voting center, the VCC suspends the voting and asks for the help of the police.

  2. The chairman or vice chairman of the VCC immediately notifies the ZEC or LGEC about the incident that has happened.

  3. When order is restored in the voting center, the VCC asks the police forces to leave the voting center and takes measures to begin the voting again immediately.

Article 102
Persons Present in the Voting Center

  1. Only the following persons may stay in a voting center:

  1. The members of the VCC and accredited representatives of electoral subjects.

  2. Voters waiting to vote.

  3. Accredited Albanian and foreign election observers.

  1. If there are voters waiting to vote, the chairman of the VCC may direct that they wait outside the voting center in order to facilitate the voting of persons within the center.

  2. Persons serving as an observer for a candidate (not accredited representatives to the voting center) may enter the voting center for the purposes of meeting with the accredited representative, but the meeting takes place outside the voting center.

  3. No armed person including police or members of the armed forces, may enter the voting center except in those circumstances provided in article 101 of this Code.

Article 103
Voting in Special Institutions

The voting in hospitals, prisons and places of pre-detention and dormitories is carried out according to the rules for voting centers contemplated in this Code and substatutory acts of the CEC.

Article 104
Voters in the Armed Forces and Police Forces

  1. Voters who serve in the Armed Forces or Police Forces vote in national elections and for national referenda in the electoral unit where their bases are located.

  2. Voters who serve in the Armed Forces or Police Forces vote in local elections and for local referenda in the polling unit of their domicile.

CHAPTER V
CLOSE OF THE POLLS AND COUNTING OF VOTES

Article 105
Close of the Polls

  1. All polls close at the hour established in article 5 of this Code and in accordance with point 3 of article 5 of this Code.

  2. After the last person has voted, only the following persons may remain in the voting center: Members of the VCC, one accredited representative for each candidate, one accredited representative for each registered political party that is participating in the multi-list voting but has not nominated a candidate for the position of deputy or mayor of a municipality or commune, and accredited Albanian and foreign election observers.

Article 106
Counting the Votes

  1. After the last voter has voted, the chairman, along with the members of the VCC, performs these acts in the following order:

  1. He determines the number of persons who have voted according to the list of voters and records that number in the official records of the voting center.

  2. He determines the number of ballots used, as indicated by the consecutive number on the ballot stubs.

  3. He counts the spoiled ballots found in the envelope for spoiled ballots and deducts that number from the number of ballots used and checks that the number of ballots used corresponds to the number of voters who voted according to the list of voters.

ç) He ensures that the seal on the ballot box is the same seal that was placed on the box at the opening of the poll.

d) He opens the ballot boxes in the order determined by the VCC and removes all the ballots.

dh) Without inspecting them, he counts the ballots in the ballot box, checks whether the number of ballots is the same as the number obtained in letter "c" of this article and records the information in the official records.

e) He sorts the ballots by candidate, setting aside those ballots where the intent of the voter is unclear, and checks whether each contains the signatures contemplated in article 88 of this Code and the seal of the VCC and in all other respects are valid ballots.

ë) He counts the ballots for each candidate, records the number in the official records and places the ballots for each candidate in separate envelopes.

  1. He places all ballots rejected as provided in point 3 of this article in a special envelope and records the number in the official records.

  1. When the chairman of the VCC decides to count a ballot for a candidate or to reject a ballot, and that decision is objected to by a member of the VCC or a representative of a candidate, the VCC votes on the question. The chairman places a number on the back of the ballot and records the number in the official records, along with the nature of the problem and the reasons for the decision. Any other member or representative may also add his written comments.

  2. A ballot is rejected when more than one candidate or political party is voted for; when it is not clear who was voted for; when the ballot bears sign that might disclose the identity of the voter; when the voter has made other marks or has voted for a person or party that is not on the ballot; or the ballot does not bear the seal of the or the signature provided in article 88 of this Code.

  3. If ballots found in the ballot box are not the same size, color or form as the ballots prescribed by the CEC, they are put in a special envelope and are not accounted for in the ballot account calculation.

  4. After counting the ballots, the chairman of the VCC completes the tabulation of results of the voting center and signs it together with all members of the VCC and the representatives of the electoral subjects who are present. All persons present, including national and foreign observers, are provided with a copy of this tabulation. If any members of the VCC or representatives present object to the tabulation, the VCC votes on the question. The chairman records the issue in the official records, the nature of the problem and the reasons for the decision. The final tabulation reflects the decision. If any member or representative objects to the decision, he may add his written comments to the official records.

  5. After the counting of ballots for mayor or deputy of a single-member zone, the ballot envelopes are placed in the ballot box, which is set aside. The above procedures are then repeated for the counting of ballots for multi-name lists.

  6. After the counting of ballots for the multi-name lists, the chairman of the VCC completes a consolidated tabulation of voting center results, which is a summary of the information contained in the individual tabulations.

  7. The original copies of all tabulations, the official records and seal of the VCC are placed in the ballot box containing the ballots for mayor of a municipality or commune or deputy of a single-member zone. A copy of the tabulations is placed in a special envelope, which is not placed in the ballot box.

  8. Each ballot box is sealed and the identification number of the seal is recorded in the official records.

  9. The chairman and the secretary of the VCC deliver the ballot boxes and the envelope containing the official records to the LGEC or ZEC within 24 hours from the close of the polls, in the manner prescribed by the LGEC or ZEC. The LGEC or ZEC provides the chairman with a receipt.

 

Article 107
|Declaration of Results

  1. No later than two days after the date of the elections, the LGEC or the ZEC, in the presence of the commission members, representatives of the electoral subjects and accredited Albanian and foreign observers, performs the following tasks and declares the results of the elections:

  1. The chairman of the commission ensures that each ballot box is accounted for.

  2. The ballot boxes are opened one at a time, checking whether the seal is the same seal recorded in the official records and whether the boxes contain the official records, ballot envelopes, unused ballots, ballot stubs, and seal of the VCC. The original copy of the tabulation is removed.

  3. Each member of the commission may examine the official records.

ç) At no time may ballots be examined, removed from the box or counted.

  1. The ballot box is closed and sealed again, leaving aside the original tabulation of results. The number of the seal is recorded in the official records of the commission.

dh) Any irregularities found in the ballot box are noted in the official records.

  1. After all original tabulations of results have been removed, the chairman of the commission completes the tabulation of results for the electoral unit and declares a person elected to the position of deputy or mayor of the municipality or commune for the electoral unit, the membership of the municipal or commune council, the number of votes cast for multi-party lists, and, if appropriate, the candidates for the second round of elections.

ë) The chairman of the commission, along with the members of the commission and representatives of the electoral subjects who may be present, sign the tabulation of results for the electoral unit. The chairman provides a copy of the tabulation to all members of the commission, the representatives present, the candidates and Albanian and foreign observers who are present. The original copy of the tabulation is forwarded to the CEC, while a copy is posted in a visible place within the voting center.

  1. If any members of the commission or representatives present object to the tabulation, the commission votes and takes a decision. The chairman records the nature of the problem and the reasons for the decision in the official records. The final tabulation reflects the decision taken. If a member or representative objects to the decision, he may add his comments to the official records.

  1. All ballot boxes and records are retained by the LGEC or ZEC in accordance with the provisions of this Code and may only be opened by a judge during a recount of ballots or upon direction of the Constitutional Court or, as the case may be, the High Court in accordance with article 141 of this Code.

  2. A recount of ballots may only occur after the declaration of the results of the election.

  3. Only those persons mentioned in point 1 of this article may be present during the procedures set forth in this article.

CHAPTER VIII
RECOUNT OF BALLOTS

Article 108
When Ballots are Recounted

  1. If, after the LGEC or ZEC has declared a person elected (other than from multi-name lists), the margin of victory between the votes of the winner and the candidate who came in second is smaller than the total number of all ballots rejected during the counting of the ballots, or if the margin 25 votes or less, the ballots are recounted in the manner provided in this chapter.

  2. If, after the LGEC or ZEC have declared a person elected (other than from multi-name lists), the above margin of victory is 150 votes or less, and if this number is equal to or less than the total number of ballots rejected as invalid during the counting, at the request of the candidate who came in second, the ZEC or LGEC organizes a recount of the ballots as follows:

  1. The application is in the form prescribed by the CEC and is signed by the candidate and his official agent.

  2. The application for a recount is presented to the chairman of the respective commission no later than 4 PM on the second day after the final count of votes by the LGEC or ZEC.

  3. On receipt of the application for a recount, the LGEC or ZEC arranges for the recount of ballots, which shall begin no later than 48 hours after receipt of the application.

  1. When a recount of ballots is required pursuant to points 1 and 2 of this article, the chairman of the commission immediately informs the president of the district court, who organizes a lottery to select three judges of the court to recount the ballots within the time specified by this Code.

  2. All costs associated with the recount of ballots are borne by the CEC.

Article 109
Recount of Ballots

  1. A recount of ballots takes place in a public facility of sufficient size to accommodate the ballot boxes from all voting centers of the electoral unit, the members of the LGEC or ZEC, and any accredited representatives of parties or candidates who wish to attend.

  2. Only one representative for each electoral subject may attend the recount of ballots.

  3. The members of the LGEC or ZEC attend the recount of ballots as observers. One or more members of the CEC may also attend as observers.

  4. The secretary of the respective commission brings all ballot boxes and official records from the election to the place of the recount and serves as assistant to the judges conducting the recount. With the consent of the court, the secretary may retain the services of one or more impartial assistants.

  5. During the recount, the court is responsible for the security and safekeeping of all ballot boxes and records.

  6. At the time established for the start of the recount, the court and the secretary of the commission confirm that the LGEC or ZEC has delivered all required materials. The court notes any materials that were not delivered.

  7. The recount of the ballots begins at 8 AM and continues until completed.

  8. At the conclusion of the recount, the court completes a tabulation of the recount of ballots in the form prescribed by the CEC and provide a copy to the members of the commission, the members of the CEC, and each candidate or representative in attendance.

  9. After receipt of the tabulation of the recount, the LGEC or the ZEC immediately declares the results of the election.

Article 110
Procedures for the Recount

  1. At the time and place fixed for the recount, the court:

  1. checks that all ballot boxes and records are maintained in a visible place;

  2. begins the recount from voting center number one and continue in consecutive order with the recount of all ballots of all voting centers;

  3. examines the ballot boxes one by one.

  1. Before opening a ballot box, the court checks whether the seal on the ballot box is the same seal that is recorded in the official records of the LGEC or ZEC. If the seal is not the same the box shall not be opened.

  2. After it is confirmed that the seal on the box is the same, the recount proceeds, in full view of all those present, in the following order of tasks:

  1. The secretary opens the box and removes the official records, tabulations and seal of the VCC and checks that the materials are the proper documents for that voting center.

  2. The secretary removes the envelopes containing the ballots counted at the voting center, the envelopes containing the ballots rejected, and the envelopes containing the ballots spoiled during the voting, unused ballots and ballot stubs.

  3. The court confirms the information in the tabulations regarding the number of unused ballots, the last number on the ballot stubs, and the number of spoiled ballots. The court places those materials in the envelope designated for that purpose and enters the information on the recount statement.

ç) Without inspecting the ballots, the court opens the envelopes containing the ballots and places them in piles that correspond to the envelope from which they were removed. The ballots contained in each envelope are counted and the result is compared with the number recorded in the voting center tabulation. If there is a discrepancy, the number of ballots found in the envelope at the time of the recount is considered the correct number.

d) After confirming the number of votes according to the tabulation of the voting center, the court continues with an inspection of all ballots, checking whether the ballot was sealed and signed according to article 88 of this Code, and declares for whom the ballot has been marked. During the recount, the court exercises the competencies of the VCC and may alter the decision of the VCC as recorded in the official records.

dh) During the investigation of a ballot that was objected to by one or more members of the VCC or one or more representatives, or was rejected by the VCC during the count, the court considers all the objections and comments regarding that issue as found in the official records. After making a decision regarding the ballot in question, the court explains the respective reasons, which are recorded in the record of the recount proceedings.

e) After the investigation of all ballots in the ballot box, the court declares the results of the voting center and complete the recount statement for the voting center; signs it together with the secretary; places all materials back in the ballot box, together with a copy of the recount statement; seals the ballot box, and begins the same procedure for the next voting center.

ë) Prior to sealing the ballot box according to letter "e" of this article, the court allows representatives of the electoral subjects, candidates, and members of the electoral commission to examine the official records and make notes. The ballots may be examined only by the court.

f) Following the recount of all ballots for the electoral unit and the completion of the recount statement for each voting center, the court completes the recount tabulation, a copy of which is provided to all persons present.

  1. At the conclusion of the recount procedures, the court returns all ballot boxes and official records of the election to the election commission, which retains them in the manner provided in article 149 of this Code.

  2. The CEC prescribes the forms to be used by the Court in this chapter.

Article 111
Multi-Name lists

  1. Ballots cast for the council of a municipality or commune are recounted when the number of ballots rejected as invalid and those objected to may have influenced the division of seats in the council. The recount of the votes for the local councils is done according to the recount procedures provided in this chapter.

  2. Ballots cast for multi-name candidates for deputy are not recounted.

Article 112
Decisions and Appeals

  1. All decisions at a recount of ballots are made by the court.

  2. Decisions made during the recount of ballots are final.

NINTH PART
INVALIDATION OF ELECTIONS

Article 113
Invalidation of Elections

  1. The CEC invalidates elections in voting centers, electoral units, or in the entire territory of the Republic if it finds:

  1. violations of law or natural disasters of such dimension that the allocation of seats in the Assembly or local councils, or the result of referenda or mayoral elections may have been influenced; or

  2. that the voting did not begin or was suspended for more than six consecutive hours.

  1. Point 1 of this article applies only to those territorial units where the violations contemplated in letter "a" of point 1 were found or where voting was suspended under letter "b" of point 1 of this article.

  2. The CEC decides on the invalidation of elections after consultations with the respective ZEC or LGEC.

  3. Elections that have been invalidated pursuant to this article are re-held in no later than four weeks.

  4. Any interested person may appeal to the Constitutional Court or the High Court, as the case may be, against the decision of the CEC to invalidate or not to invalidate an election within 10 days from the announcement of the decision of the CEC.

 

EIGHTH PART
REFERENDA

CHAPTER I
GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Article 114
Meaning of Referendum

  1. The referendum is the direct exercise of the people's sovereignty, through voting, for a specific issue or law, according to articles 108 point 4, 150, 151, 152 and 177 of the Constitution.

  2. Voting on referenda is performed according to the rules contemplated in this Code.

  3. In a referendum, the alternative that has won the majority of the valid votes, but not less than one third of the number of voters registered in the National Registry of Voters and possessing a voter card, is considered the winner, unless otherwise provided in this chapter.

Article 115
Restrictions in the Exercise of the Right to a Referendum

  1. No constitutional or general referendum can be held on the date of elections for the Assembly or for the organs of local government.

  2. No general or constitutional referendum can be held during the period starting six months before the end of the mandate of the Assembly until three months after the first meeting of the new Assembly.

  3. No local referendum can be held during the period starting three months before the end of the mandate of the organs of local government until three months after the first meeting of the local councils.

  4. The procedure for holding a general referendum is suspended when early elections for the Assembly are announced until three months after the first meeting of the new Assembly.

  5. The procedure for holding a local referendum in a unit of local government is suspended when early local elections are announced in the unit until three months after the beginning of the mandate of the local government organ.

  6. In accordance with point 3 of article 152 of the Constitution, requests for a referendum that have not been fully processed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter by March 15 of the year, regardless of when made, are deferred until the following year.

Article 116
Procedures for the Conduct of Referenda

  1. Constitutional and general referenda are administered by the CEC through the ZECs and, to the extent necessary or appropriate, in accordance with the procedures stipulated in this Code for the conduct of elections to the Assembly.

  2. Local referenda are administered by the CEC through the LGECs and, to the extent necessary or appropriate, in accordance with the procedures stipulated in this Code for the conduct of local elections.

  3. For referenda at the regional level, the CEC creates a regional election commission. The members of this commission are proposed by the Regional Council according to the rules contemplated in this Code for the composition of an LGEC.

  4. When more than one referendum is held on the same date, the ballots for each referendum are of different colors.

Article 117
Approval of Draft Laws Voted on in Referenda

  1. A draft law approved by referendum is promulgated by the President of the Republic and enters into force at least 15 days after publication in the Official Journal.

  2. The repeal of a law or part of a law by referendum enters into force immediately upon the declaration of the result. On the reasoned request of the Council of Ministers, the Assembly may decide to postpone the repeal of the law or the part repealed, but not for more than 60 days.

CHAPTER II
DIFFERENT TYPES OF REFERENDA

Section 1
Constitutional Referendum

Article 118
Types of Constitutional Referenda

A constitutional referendum conducted in accordance with point 4 of article 177 of the Constitution is decided on by two thirds of all members of the Assembly in order to present proposed constitutional amendments directly to popular vote. A constitutional referendum conducted in accordance with point 5 of article 177 of the Constitution is one requested by one fifth of the members of the Assembly to submit to popular vote a constitutional amendments approved by not less than two thirds of all members of the Assembly.

Article 119
Initial Procedures

  1. Requests for a constitutional referendum to amend the Constitution contain the text of the draft law for the amendment to the Constitution.

  2. Requests for a referendum in accordance with point 5 of article 177 of the Constitution are delivered to the General Secretary of the Assembly within 15 days of the approval of the constitutional amendment by the Assembly.

  3. The General Secretary of the Assembly immediately sends the decision of the Assembly (or the request of one fifth of the deputies, as the case may be) requesting a constitutional referendum to the Constitutional Court and the President of the Republic.

Article 120
Preliminary Examination by the Constitutional Court

Within 60 days of receipt of the request, the Constitutional Court examines in advance the constitutionality of holding the constitutional referendum initiated according to point 4 or 5 of article 177 of the Constitution.

Article 121
Subsequent Procedures for a Constitutional Referendum

  1. When the Constitutional Court decides that the request for a constitutional referendum is in compliance with the Constitution or does not issue a decision within the time period, the President of the Republic sets the date for holding the referendum in compliance with point 3 of article 152 of the Constitution.

  2. In this case, the General Secretary of the Assembly notifies the CEC of the conduct of a constitutional referendum, and sends to it the text of the draft law that will be voted on in the referendum. The General Secretary of the Assembly publishes the text of the draft law that will be voted on in the referendum in the three newspapers with the largest national circulation.

  3. If the Constitutional Court decides that the request for the constitutional referendum is not consistent with the Constitution, the procedure for holding the referendum ceases. In the case of a request pursuant to point 5 of article 177 of the Constitution, the constitutional amendments previously approved by the Assembly are promulgated by the President of the Republic and become effective at least 15 days after their publication in the Official Journal.

  4. Constitutional amendments submitted to referendum according to point 5 of article 177 of the Constitution are rejected if more than half of all voters registered in the National Registry of Voters who possess a voter card vote against them. If the amendments are not rejected in the referendum, they are promulgated by the President of the Republic and become effective at least 15 days after their publication in the Official Journal.

Section 2
General Referendum

Article 122
Initiative for a General Referendum

  1. Fifty thousand voters registered in the National Registry of Voters who possess a voter card have the right to a general referendum for the repeal of a law, or to request the President of the Republic to call a referendum on a matter of special importance, in compliance with point 1 of article 150 of the Constitution and the provisions of this Code.

  2. A request to begin the procedures for a referendum is submitted to the CEC by a group of no less than 12 initiators, who are voters registered on the National Registry of Voters possessing a voter card.

  3. A request to repeal part of a law may be made, but only if the remainder of the law is self-sufficient.

  4. A request to begin the procedures for a referendum for the repeal of a law or part of a law contains:

  1. the title, number and date of approval of the law that is sought to be repealed and, if only part of the law is sought to be repealed, the respective provisions; and

  2. the reasons why the law or the particular provisions should be repealed.

  1. A request to begin the procedures for a referendum on an issue of special importance describes clearly the issue set out, its importance and the position of the initiators in connection with the issue. The issue must be clear, complete, and unequivocal, and expressed in such a form that voters can answer "yes" or "no."

Article 123
Model Forms for Collecting Signatures

  1. Within 20 days from the submission of the request for a general referendum, the CEC provides the initiators, against payment, with forms for the collection of the signatures of 50,000 voters listed in the National Registry of Voters at the time of submission of the request. At the head of the form, the title of the law, the provisions sought to be repealed or the issue raised is printed.

  2. Signatures with the respective voter card numbers in support of the request to hold a general referendum are deposited with the CEC during the period from January 1 to November 30 of each year.

Article 124
Verification of the Request by the CEC

  1. The CEC verifies the voter card numbers and signatures in accordance with substatutory acts issued by it.

  2. The CEC decides whether to accept the request within 90 days from the day it is submitted, based only on the regularity of the submission. The decision is made known promptly to the interested persons. A decision not to accept the request sets out clearly the irregularities that lead to non-acceptance.

  3. Within five days from notification of the decision, the initiators may declare to the CEC that they are ready to correct the irregularities that were found. In this case, the CEC sets a term of up to 30 days for the re-submission of the request. The CEC decides within 10 days whether to accept the re-submitted request and promptly notifies the initiators.

Article 125
Examination of the Request by the Constitutional Court

  1. After determining that the requests are in order, the CEC brings the requests for a general referendum to the President of the Republic and the Constitutional Court, except for the cases contemplated in article 115 of this Code. At the same time, the CEC notifies the Speaker of the Assembly and the Prime Minister of the requests accepted.

  2. The Constitutional Court decides on the constitutionality of the requests for a general referendum and whether they are formulated in accordance with points 3 and 5 of article 122 within 60 days from the day of receipt of the requests from the CEC.

  3. The President of the Republic decides whether or not to hold referenda on issues of special importance after the promulgation of a positive decision of the Constitutional Court or after the passage of the term during which it should have issued the decision. If he decides that a referendum requested should not be held, he advises the CEC in writing of his reasons, which the CEC transmits to the initiators.

 

Article 126
Setting the Date for a General Referendum

The President of the Republic sets the voting day for general referenda in accordance with point 3 of article 152 of the Constitution.

Article 127
Referenda on the Initiative of the Assembly

When the Assembly decides on the holding of general referenda in accordance with point 2 of article 150 of the Constitution, the same procedures provided in this section for referenda in accordance with point 1 of article 150 of the Constitution are followed, to the extent necessary or appropriate. 

Section 3
Local Referenda

Article 128
Initiative for a Local Referendum

  1. Ten percent of the voters registered in the voters’ list of a municipality or commune and possessing a voter card, or 20,000 of them, whichever number is smaller, have the right to a local referendum on an issue of local governance in the respective municipality or commune.

  2. A number of municipal or communal councils that represent no less than one third of the population of a region have the right to request that a referendum be held on an issue of local governance at the regional level.

  3. A referendum on the same issue cannot be repeated in the same unit of local government before three years have passed.

  4. For holding a local referendum, the provisions for a general referendum in points 2 and 5 of article 122, article 123 and point 2 of article 124 of this Code are adapted and applied, to the extent possible or appropriate.

NINTH PART
ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN AND MEDIA.

Article 129
Period of the Electoral Campaign

  1. The electoral campaign starts 30 days before election day and ends 24 hours before the beginning of voting.

  2. When a second round is to be held or the elections repeated in accordance with this Code, the campaign continues after the end of the first round and concludes 24 hours before the beginning of voting.

Article 130
The Rights and Obligations of Electoral Subjects during the Campaign

  1. During the election campaign, every electoral subject has the right to make electoral propaganda in any lawful manner.

  2. The results of electoral opinion polls may not be made public during the last 5 days before election day.

  3. The publication of electoral opinion polls shall include the name of the pollster, the sponsor, the sample size, the margin of error, and the time period during which the poll was taken.

  4. The conduct of electoral campaigns in de-politicized institutions is prohibited.

  5. Propaganda for or against a candidate or other electoral subject by foreigners is prohibited.

 

Article 131
Propaganda Materials

The organs of local government designate in a fair and impartial manner public places for posting propaganda materials.

Article 132
Electoral Campaign on Public Radio and Television

  1. During the electoral campaign, Public Radio and Television provides free air time for each registered political party and the CEC, which is allocated in accordance with the following rules:

  1. A total of two hours are set aside for the CEC and allocated in accordance with its time requests. At least two thirds of the total time is allocated between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

  2. Each parliamentary party participating in the first round of elections is allocated equal free air time by the CEC in an amount that is no less than 15 minutes on public television and 15 minutes on public radio.

  3. Those parties not represented in the Assembly participating in the first round of elections are entitled to 10 minutes of air time on public television and 10 minutes of air time on public radio.

ç. The sponsor of electoral propaganda must be clearly specified on any television or radio program or advertisement.

  1. The total amount of free air time allocated to all the political parties over the course of an electoral campaign is no more than ten hours.

  1. For the second round of elections, political parties with candidates running in the second round are entitled to 15 minutes of free air time on public television and 15 minutes of free air time on public radio. Independent candidates running in the second round are entitled to 3 minutes of free air time on public television and 3 minutes of free air time on public radio.

  2. Public Radio and Television covers the electoral campaign through news or informative programming in compliance with the principles of impartiality, completeness, truthfulness, and pluralism of information set forth in articles 4, 36 and 41 of law no. 8410, dated 30.9.1998, "On Public and Private Radio-Television in the Republic of Albania." The free air time allocated to political parties in accordance with point 1 of this article may not be allocated as part of news or informative programming.

  3. Public Radio and Television may not prepare or broadcast paid political advertising.

  4. During general referendum campaigns, Public Radio and Television put an equal number of minutes at the disposal of the political parties supporting either one of the alternatives, in an amount not to exceed three hours in total.

Article 133
Free Air Time for the CEC

In addition to the time provided under letter "a" of point 1 of article 132 of this Code, the CEC is provided with a total of 60 minutes of free time on public radio and 60 minutes of free time on public television for voter education each calendar year beginning January 1, 2001. The allocation of free time is done in accordance with letter "a" of point 1 of article 132.

Article 134
Broadcasting Schedule

  1. No later than two days after the decree of the date of the elections, the Steering Council of Public Radio and Television, based on the information on registered parties provided by the CEC, sets the time available for each party and, under the supervision of the CEC, organizes a lottery for the allocation of broadcast time to each registered party.

  2. The broadcast time available to the political parties and independent candidates is between 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM each day of the electoral campaign, up to 24 hours before the beginning of the voting.

Article 135
Electoral Campaign on Private Radio and Television

  1. Private radio and television cover the electoral campaign according to the principles provided in articles 4, 36 and 41 of law no. 8410, dated 30.9.1998, "On Public and Private Radio-Television in the Republic of Albania."

  2. During electoral campaigns, private radio and television may transmit electoral advertisements of the political parties, which are offered to all political parties participating in the elections at their lowest rates for the requested time period. These rates must have been effective and publicized as of the day of the decree of the elections.

  3. Private radio and television may not broadcast more than five minutes a day of advertisements for each political party or independent candidate, for any kind of elections.

  4. The broadcast of commercial advertisements during the broadcast of electoral programs by both public and private media is prohibited.

Article 136
Complaints

Electoral subjects may present their complaints to the National Council of Radio Television (NCRT) about irregularities found in campaign coverage by public and private radio and television. The NCRT investigates the complaint and makes a decision within 24 hours about an appropriate remedy.

 

TENTH PART
ELECTION FINANCING.

Article 137
Financing the Elections

  1. The state finances the holding of the elections according to articles 138 and 139 of this Code.

  2. The CEC administers the funds designated for the conduct of the elections according to the rules contemplated in this Code.

Article 138
Headquarters, Budget and Staffing of the CEC

  1. The headquarters of the CEC is in the capital of the Republic of Albania, Tirana.

  2. The budget of the CEC constitutes a separate line in the state budget.

  3. The CEC accepts donations that serve the electoral process, without infringing on its independence and authority.

4. The structure and personnel of the administration of the CEC are set by decision of the CEC.

Article 139
Funds at the Disposal of the Political Parties

  1. In addition to funds provided to political parties under law no. 8580, dated 17.2.2000, "On Political Parties," political parties that are registered with the CEC according to this Code are entitled to funds from the budget of the state for the conduct of elections.

  2. The funds designated for the financing of the political parties participating in the election are set by the CEC within 30 days from their approval in the Assembly. The payments are made by the Ministry of Finance after official notification by the CEC about the manner of division of these funds.

  3. The funds of the budget of the state for the financing of political parties in the elections are divided as follows:

  1. 10 per cent of the amount is distributed equally among the political parties registered as participants in the elections.

  2. 30 per cent of the amount is distributed in an equal manner among the parties that currently have deputies in the Assembly, or, as the case may be, members of the councils of the municipalities or communes.

  3. 60 per cent of the amount is distributed among them in proportion to the number of votes won on the national scale in the last elections for the Assembly or in the local elections.

  1. After the conclusion of the elections, parties that fail to win more than 2.5 per cent of the votes must return the amounts distributed in advance, according to letters "b" and "c" of point 3 of this article. All funds distributed according to letters "b" and "c" of point 3 of this article are re-distributed after the conclusion of the elections among the parties that won more than 2.5 per cent of the votes, in accordance with the percentage of votes won by each of them.

 

ELEVENTH PART
APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS OF THE ELECTION COMMISSIONS

Article 140
Complaints

  1. The decisions of a VCC may be appealed within two days of their promulgation to the ZEC or LGEC, as appropriate, which decides on the complaint within two days. An appeal against a decision of a ZEC or LGEC may be taken within two days to the district court of the location of the seat of the commission, which decides within three days. A decision of the district court may be appealed to the court of appeals within three days, which decides within five days. The decision of the court of appeals is final.

  2. The decisions of a ZEC or LGEC, except for those contemplated in point 1 of this article, may be appealed within two days of their announcement to the CEC, which decides on the appeal within two days.

Article 141
Appeals to the Constitutional Court and the High Court

  1. Decisions of the CEC on the final results of the elections to the Assembly and referenda, as well as decisions on their invalidation, are appealed to the Constitutional Court within three days of being announced. The Constitutional Court examines the appeals and decides within ten days.

  2. Decisions of the CEC on the final results of local elections and their invalidation are appealed to the High Court within three days of being announced. The High Court examines the appeals and decides within ten days.

Article 142
Appeals against Decisions of the CEC

  1. All decisions of the CEC, with the exception of those contemplated in article 141 of this Code, may be appealed to the Court of Appeals of Tirana within three days of being announced.

  2. The Court of Appeals of Tirana examines the appeals and decides within five days.

  3. Final decisions of the CEC not to accept a request for a general referendum may be appealed to the Court of Appeals of Tirana within five days of being announced. The Court of Appeals decides within ten days. Its decision is final.

Article 143
Appeals about Voters’ Lists

  1. Every voter who has not been registered in the voters’ lists according to the procedure provided in chapter II of the fourth part of this Code may apply to the district court no later than 30 days before the election. The court decides within two days.

  2. Within two days of being announced, the decision of the district court may be appealed to the court of appeals, which decides within three days. The decision of the Court of Appeals is final.

Article 144
Deadlines

All deadlines provided in this part apply only during the time period from the day the date of the elections is announced until three days after the announcement of the election results by the CEC.

TWELFTH PART
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SANCTIONS

Article 145
Responsibility of Persons Charged with the Election Administration
 

The members of the election commissions and employees of the public administration in the service of these commissions have criminal and administrative liability for violations of the provisions of this Code according to the legislation in force.

Article 146
Voting More Than Once

Voting in the same elections more than once constitutes a criminal infraction and is punishable by fine or up to three months of imprisonment. 

Article 147
Abandoning Duty by Members of Election Commissions

Abandoning duty, without lawful causes, by the members of the election commissions constitutes a criminal infraction, and is punishable by fine or from between six months to two years of imprisonment.

Article 148
Administrative Penalties

  1. A violation of the provisions of this Code by members of the commissions or by persons charged with duty according to this Code, if it does not constitute a criminal offense, is punishable by a fine of between 3,000 and 90,000 lek.

  2. A violation of the rules provided in this Code by public and private radio and television constitutes an administrative infraction and is punishable by a fine of between 100,000 and 500,000 lek.

  3. Other violations of the provisions of this Code, when they do not constitute a criminal offense, are punishable by a fine of between 1,000 and 2,500 lek.

  4. Penalties for violations under point 1 and 2 of this article are given by the CEC. Penalties for violations under point 3 of this article are given by all election commissions.

THIRTEENTH PART
RETENTION OF RECORDS

Article 149
Retention of Records

  1. No records of a VCC, LGEC, ZEC or any other electoral commission may be destroyed without the prior consent of the CEC.

  2. All records of a VCC or any other commission established by a LGEC or ZEC are given to the LGEC or ZEC in the manner and at the time established by the CEC.

  3. The LGEC or ZEC retains a copy of:

  1. the documentation of candidates and political parties taking part in the election;

  2. the list of names and addresses of all members of a VCC and other commissions;

  3. the list of voting centers;

ç) the voters’ lists for the electoral units;

  1. the names and addresses for all members of the LGEC or ZEC;

dh) the map of the electoral unit showing the boundaries of all polling units;

  1. a written description of all electoral unit boundaries;

ë) the decree setting the date of the elections, official election notices issued by the LGEC or ZEC, the announcement of results for each voting center and the final declaration of results; and

  1. a statement of the costs incurred for the administration of the elections.

  1. The original documents referred to in point 3 of this article are forwarded to the CEC within three months of the declaration of the election results. The CEC retains one copy and within twelve months after the official declaration of the election results by the CEC forwards the original documents to the Central State Archives in the manner required by it within 12 months after the declaration of the final results of the elections.

  2. Immediately following the declaration of results by the LGEC or ZEC, the commission forwards to the CEC in the manner directed by it all sealed ballot boxes containing official records, the seal of the commissions, ballots used at the election and unused ballots.

  3. On receipt of all ballot boxes and unused ballots, and after the time allotted for appeals pursuant to point 5 of article 113 of this Code, the CEC opens all ballot boxes, removes all official records, including tabulations and ballot account statements, and forwards them to the Central State Archives in the manner required by the archives. All ballots and ballot stubs then are destroyed by fire under the supervision of the CEC.

 

FOURTEENTH PART
TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 150
Mandate of Members of the CEC and Financial Effects

Article 17 of this Code may not be not interpreted to affect the validity of the appointments of the CEC members made before the effective date of this Code. The mandate of members of the CEC appointed before the effective date of this Code, as well as the financial effects connected with the organization and operation of the CEC, begins from the moment this Code enters into force.

Article 151
First Meeting of the CEC

The President of the Republic calls the first meeting of the CEC by decree within 15 days from the effective date of this Code, at which the chairman of the CEC is elected in accordance with article 27 of this Code.

Article 152
Local Elections of the Year 2000

  1. The mandate of the mayors of municipalities and communes and local councilors elected in the year 1996 expires with the first meeting of the local council elected in the year 2000 in the respective municipality or commune, which takes place no later than 20 days from the end of the elections.

  2. The local elections of the year 2000 are held no later than November 1, 2000.

  3. For the local elections of the year 2000, the voting centers open at 7 AM. and close at 6 PM.

Article 153
LGECs and VCCs for the Local Elections of the Year 2000

  1. Notwithstanding point 1 of article 38 and point 1 of article 43, for the local elections of the year 2000, the LGEC and VCC shall consist of the chairman, vice chairman and up to five members appointed respectively by the CEC and the LGEC on the proposal of the seven political parties that won the most votes nationwide in the local elections of 1996.

  2. The members of the commissions shall meet all the requirements contemplated in this Code.

  3. The CEC (LGEC) appoints the chairman and vice chairman of the LGEC (VCC) on the basis of proposals made by the LGEC (VCC). The candidates for chairman and vice chairman of the LGEC (VCC) are proposed by the two political parties that won the most votes nationwide in the local elections of 1996.

  4. For purposes of the application of this article the number of votes won nationwide by coalitions of parties is divided equally between the parties of the coalition, except when there is an agreement about this between them.

Article 154
Preparation of the First National Registry of Voters

  1. For the local elections of the year 2000, the Council of Ministers, through the organs of local government and the offices of civil status, prepares the preliminary National Registry of Voters and delivers it to the Directorate of Registration of Voters of the CEC no later than August 25, 2000.

  2. The CEC sends to each LGEC, no later than August 28, 2000, a copy of the preliminary voters’ lists for the respective electoral unit drawn from the National Registry of Voters. The provisions of chapter II of the fourth part are followed, to the extent possible, for these elections, with the following exceptions:

  1. The period for the revision of the voters’ lists ends 17 days before the date of the elections, and after this the LGEC forwards the revised voters’ list to the CEC;

  2. After approving, the CEC sends the final voters’ lists to the LGEC drawn from the National Registry of Voters no later than seven days before the date of the elections.

  1. Until the creation of the National Registry of Civil Status, the CEC prepares the voters’ lists for subsequent elections on the basis of the voters’ lists of the preceding elections, which are updated by the offices of civil status. The provisions of Chapter II of the Fourth Part of this Code are also applied, by analogy, for these elections.

Article 155
Voting with an Identification Document

For the local elections of the year 2000, voters who have not been provided with a voter card may vote with a document of identification with a photograph issued by the offices of civil status, according to the instructions issued by the CEC.

Article 156
CEC Informational Programming

  1. After the entry of this law into effect, the Steering Council of Public Radio and Television sets aside four hours of free television and radio broadcast time for CEC informational programming, which informs the public about voter registration, the issuance of the voter card and the provisions of this Code.

  2. The four hours of free time are used prior to the setting of the date of the elections. They are not part of the time provided to the CEC during the election period.

Article 157
The First Electoral Zone Boundary Commission

  1. The first Electoral Zone Boundary Commission is created and functions in accordance with articles 68 through 73 of this Code, except for the following:

  1. The Commission uses the National Registry of Voters as certified by the CEC for the local government elections of the year 2000.

  2. The Commission is formed no later than September 1, 2000.

  3. The final report to the Assembly is submitted no later than January 15, 2001.

  4. The law on electoral zones is approved by the Assembly no later than February 28, 2001.

  1. If the Assembly has not approved the law on electoral zones within the term contemplated in point 1 of this article, the President of the Republic establishes the electoral zone boundaries in accordance with the final report of the Electoral Zone Boundary Commission. The boundaries established according to this point remain in effect until their next review in accordance with article 68 of this Code.

 

Article 158
The ZECs and VCCs for the Elections of the Year 2001

  1. Notwithstanding point 1 of article 32 and point 1 of article 43, for the elections to the Assembly of the year 2001, the ZEC and the VCC shall consist of the chairman, vice chairman and up to five members appointed by the CEC and the ZEC, respectively, on the proposal of the seven political parties that won the most votes nationwide in the elections for the Assembly of the year 1997.

  2. The members of these commissions shall meet all the requirements contemplated in this Code.

  3. The CEC (ZEC) names the chairman and vice chairman of the ZEC (VCC) on the basis of proposals made by the ZEC (VCC). The candidates for chairman and vice chairman of the ZEC (VCC) are proposed by the two political parties that won the most votes nationwide in the elections of 1997.

  4. For purposes of the application of this article, the number of votes won nationwide by coalitions of parties is divided equally between the parties of the coalition, except when there is an agreement between them about this.

Article 159
Substatutory Acts of the CEC

The CEC issues regulations and instructions for the implementation of this Code.

Article 160
Repeals

Law No. 7556, dated 4.2.1992, "On the Elections to the People’s Assembly"; law no. 7573, dated 16.6.1992, "On the Elections to the Organs of Local Government"; law no. 7866, dated 6.10.1994, "On Referenda," with all their respective amendments and supplements; and any other provision that conflicts with this Code are repealed.

Article 161
Effective Date

This Code enters into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

 


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