On the eve of the May 14, 2023 Local Elections, our organization, Albania Institute of Science (AIS), would like to share some concerns about the risks that could prevent the conduction of fair and free election process.
Through our monitoring of public expenditure and fund data during electoral processes, the organization has identified cases of misuse of public funds for political party purposes. The upcoming electoral processes have the potential to be exposed to the same risk.
AIS, as a non-governmental organization has worked tirelessly to promote a civic movement that demands Accountability, promotion of Rule of Law and protection of Human Rights.
It was on these premises that during the last parliamentary the organization decided to take upon itself the monitoring of public expenditure and fund allocation, during the months preceding the elections.
Through our data monitoring, we were able to trace potential case of misuse of public funds to influence votes, which amounted to triple times more than the official fund allocated to the parties for election campaigns.
Furthermore, AIS recognized that it is vital to ensure real time media attention to the case, with the hope of generating publicity on the case to stop the abuse with public funds that could potentially compromise fair and free elections.
Based on our experience, we are of the opinion that the parties and electoral management institutions involved in the process, like the Commissioner, the Commission for Appeals and Sanctions (CAS), and even the Reformer do not have any consolidated previous work practices, or any concrete results of interventions in such cases through investigation, suspension of such activity, or records of any administrative sanctions.
AIS believes that because of its established experience in open data, especially data related to public expenditure, it is more adequate to conduct such monitoring and litigation.
Being willing to contribute by monitoring, identifying, or litigating for a regular electoral process, education and awareness for systemic change, the organization has prepared a Project Concept for Intervention.
This project concept is addressed to the Members of the Working Group for Elections in Albania and Potential Donors, seeking cooperation in the process of raising funds for the implementation of this useful Project for the 2023 Electoral Process.
The specific scope of this project is monitoring the Public Spending and Litigation for each case of Misused Public Funds during the next electoral process.
The Scope of Intervention is related with fields like Rule of Law; Free and Fair Election; Electoral Reform; Media Capacity Development; Civil Society Activism.
With the Project Concept Note attached, please consider this email as a request for cooperation in the process of raising funds for the implementation of its activities.
Looking forward to your cooperation, we are open to any questions, comments, reviews, and further communications.