News 12 Mar 13

OSCE Snubs Albanian Proposal to Lower Voting Age

The OSCE head in Albania, Eugen Wolfarth, on Tuesday criticised a proposal by Prime Minister Sali Berisha to rush through an extension of voting rights to 16-year-olds ahead of the June 23 elections.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

“Ahead of this election there is no time [for such a change],” Wolfarth said. “Such thing cannot be changed ahead of the elections, but remains an option for the future,” he added.

The OSCE chief was speaking after Prime Minister Berisha on Monday told his Democratic Party MPs that he proposed to lower the voting age from 18 to 16.

Berisha said that he had received hundreds of requests on social networks from young people who wanted to vote - and the change would be easy to oversee.

“This is a different generation, the internet generation… that cannot be compared with any other in the history of our nation,” Berisha said. “If there is political will we can generate voting lists to include all 16-year-olds in a matter of hours,” he added.

Berisha’s proposal comes after several watchdogs have complained that Albania’s institutions have failed to notify voters of their presence on preliminary electoral rolls ahead of the June parliamentary elections.

The notification of voters is a legal obligation for the government and is prescribed in the electoral code.

Albania’s has long history of contested polls that do not meet international standards. The last general elections in 2009 sparked a political crisis that reverberates to this day.   

The elections on June 23 are seen by the EU as litmus test for Tirana’s political elite and for its hopes of advancing the country’s battered integration process.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

prosecution-started-investigation-on-grabovci-s-wiretapped-conversations-08-26-2016
26 Aug 16

Kosovo Probes Ruling Party MP Grabovci over Wiretaps

The Special Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into ruling party MP Adem Grabovci after leaked wiretaps sparked allegations that he influenced public-sector appointments.

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released

26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

Premium Selection

belgrade-s-ancient-crafts-guardians-02-05-2016
26 Aug 16

Belgrade’s Ancient Crafts Guardians

A traditional shoe-making shop is finding a way to survive and thrive in the modern world. Now, a fourth generation of the family is preparing to take the reins.

denis-zvizdic-the-loyal-party-soldier-tipped-for-the-top-08-22-2016
26 Aug 16

Denis Zvizdic: Loyal Party Soldier Tipped for the Top

Speculation is rife that Zvizdic, chairman of Bosnia’s Council of Ministers and loyal SDA party soldier, harbours state-level presidential ambitions.

25 Aug 16

Kosovo War Ex-Prisoners Fear Arrest in Serbia

19 Aug 16

Dacian Ciolos: Romania’s Technocratic PM

Latest News from the Balkans

26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

26 Aug 16

Accused Kosovo Politician Azem Syla Released