The risk of misuse of public money in elections is high. AIS denunciation of the misuse of the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Program in the April 25th Elections was rejected by the Administrative Investigation Institutions. They did not provide solutions for the violations found in the zone where Prime Minister Rama won. AIS reported that in violation of the Electoral Law, the Council of Ministers Decision dated 25 March and Durrës Municipal Council Decisions 12-24 April, transferred and executed in Durrës 6.1 Million Euro of non-emergency grants with Individual beneficiaries benefitting 1-5 thousand USD. The Commissioner declared himself incompetent and rejected the lawsuit. The CSC, after AIS Appeal, accepted the investigation but ended it with only one hearing where no Experts or challenged parties were heard. Based on the positions of the CSC and those of the Commissioner, the organization raises the alarm that the Reconstruction Fund, a medium-term budget program for 3-5 years, can be used in the next elections to compromise voters by giving individual grants a few hours before voting.
Stages of the AIS Process against the Council of Ministers and the Municipality of Durrës, Denunciation, Decision, Administrative Investigation:
- Date 31 May 2021, AIS submits a Denunciation to the State Commissioner for Elections, the Reconstruction Fund was Used in Durrës to Favor the Electoral Entity SP. The respondents include the Council of Ministers and the Municipality of Durrës HERE
- Date 16. 07. 2021, State Commissioner Response and Request for Information from Reported Institutions HERE
- Decision no. 439 dated 2.08.2021 Decision of the State Commissioner for Elections for Extension of the Term of Administrative Review HERE
- Rejection by the Commissioner. CEC decision (no. 457, dated 01.10.2021) On the administrative review of a violation provided in decision no. 9, dated 24.12.2020 of the Regulatory Commission, in the Central Election Commission, to the Council of Ministers and the Municipal Council of Durrës HERE
- October 28th, 2021. AIS Appeal Against Decision no. 457, dated 01.10.2021 of the State Commissioner for Elections HERE
The hearing in the CSC was held on 8 November. The Complaints and Sanctions Commission (CSC) accepted our Request for changes to be made to the Decision of the State Commissioner regarding its lack of competence, but rejected the allegations of irregularities in the acts of the Council of Ministers and the Municipality of Durrës, i.e. the acts that made it possible to pay Individual grants a few hours before the Voting day. The text of the CSC Notice is as follows
The Complaints and Sanctions Commission reviewed November 8th appeal no. 74, challenging decision no. 457, dated 01.10.2021, of the State Election Commissioner, a complaint by the organization Albanian Institute of Sciences (AIS).
The Albanian Institute of Sciences has challenged the acts of the Council of Ministers and those of the municipality of Durrës regarding the funds they have allocated to the subjects affected by the earthquake. The State Election Commissioner had claimed lack of competence over this complaint.
Having heard the appellant and having reviewed the documentation, the CSC found that its review is the competence of the CEC bodies, so by a majority of votes, it decided to accept the request to amend decision no. 457, dated 01.10.2021 of the State Election Commissioner, whereby the latter had declared itself not competent for reviewing the complainant’s claim.
At the end of the administrative investigation, the CSC concluded that the acts challenged by the Albanian Institute of Sciences do not constitute a violation of decision no. 9 dated 24.12.2020 of the Regulatory Commission (reformer), because such decisions do not propose, approve, or allocate any new funds, but simply set executive procedures, so by a majority vote it decided to reject the request for an administrative sanction to be imposed for violation of decision no. 9, dated 24.12.2020 of the CEC Regulatory Commission.
This Decision can be challenged in the Administrative Court within 30 days from its Disclosure on the CEC Website.