Violation of the right to vote

Violation of the right to vote the democratic principle on which our country is built means that the Republic of Albania is based on the citizens’ consensus, as the subjects legitimized for the sovereign title that they exercise by actively participating in the political life of a country. Article 21 of the Universal Declaration states, “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.” The same article also states that free elections are the only basis for the authority of a government: “The will of the people must be the basis of the authority of the government; this will must be expressed through genuine periodic elections, which must be general and equal, by secret ballot or through equivalent free voting procedures.”

To be part of the active electorate in an electoral system means to be a candidate in the respective electoral list, selected based on the electoral code’s criteria, and finalized with the sovereign’s vote. The right to vote in Albania, although limited, has existed but not as a principle of equality or a modern constitution, but only as a participant in the selection of the formation of the government. The advent of democracy requires as a fundamental principle the respect of the right to vote as a right of every citizen and in respect of the principle one citizen one vote and a democracy representative of the majority of the people.

Since the beginning of the birth of democracy, problems have accompanied Albania and continues to attend us in the last parliamentary elections. When the inclusion in the active electorate’s electoral list is not realized as required by legal provisions, we must look at the motives for non-inclusion. We are all voters; it is enough to be 18 years old and to be responsible.

A vote belongs to only one individual, which means that the option is personal; it is equal, which means that the voice of each of us has the same “weight”, and must be free and secret. In case the non-inclusion in the voter lists of persons who have the right to vote or intentional registration in them of persons who do not possess this right constituted a criminal offense under Article 331 KPRSH of law no. 10019/2008 and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to one year. While law no. 23/2012 brought changes both in the provision of the provision by expanding the scope of the condition and the measure of punishment.

The first paragraph of Article 331 KPRSH, the law no. 23/2012 punishes with imprisonment from one to five years, all those who intentionally do not include in the voter lists of persons who have the right to vote or register with intent in them of persons who do not have this right. The active subject under Article 331 is unique because it concerns all persons in charge of administering elections, such as civil registrars, members of the election commission. Simultaneously, the criminal offense, when it is called consummate, non-inclusion in the electoral lists was done intentionally and to favor a particular political entity.

The second paragraph of Article 331, (Law no. 23/2012), provides that “… this offense when committed in collaboration, when it has brought serious consequences for the interests of voters or the conduct of the electoral process is punishable by imprisonment of two to in five years and with a fine from three hundred thousand to seven hundred thousand ALL”, i.e., in cases when the non-inclusion in the electoral lists of persons who have the right and the intentional registration of persons who do not enjoy this right is done with more than for two persons the sentence increases from two years to five years, and with a fine from three hundred thousand to seven hundred thousand lekë as well as when these actions have brought severe consequences in the development and result of the elections.