Obligation to Participate in political activities

Obligation to Participate in political activities

In Albania’s civilization, the traditional and moral values ​​of justice have been deeply embodied and have always influenced social and political developments. However, the rapid adoption of legal instruments and the need to adopt best practices in achieving internationally recognized standards have led to the further advancement of political goals than actions in protecting human rights.

We must all work with the utmost commitment with a sense of correctness and justice, deeply understanding that protecting human rights and their promotion constitutes the fundamental basis of political stability, which is a prerequisite for achieving good governance.

Human rights, approved by the Republic of Albania, should be enjoyed by the people to whom they are dedicated. And the best way to do this is to hold government power accountable for its commitments to implement international human rights protection mechanisms and promote a commitment to protecting vulnerable groups’ rights. Society, women, children, minorities, people with disabilities, and rights deprived of their liberty.

This is also achieved by strengthening the role and support of independent control mechanisms and raising cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, such as the Council of Europe and the EU. In support of the Electoral Code and the Constitution of Albania to guarantee free and democratic elections in 2012, several amendments and additions were adopted to improve the Albanian criminal legislation, one of which was Article 328 / a CC.

The first paragraph of the article punishes anyone who forces citizens under administrative subordination, who are not against their will but forced under the use of violence, intimidation, or the use of various organizational measures, to force employees to participate in electoral activities. A specific electoral subject constitutes a criminal offense and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of six months. In this context, Albanian society has suffered from abuses where leaders of state administrations force their employees to participate in rallies organized mainly for festive parties when it is an election period. Such a situation leads to a significant central or local disorganization and paralysis of many institutions’ work.

This is because these institutions’ officials are forced to follow political activities by threatening to fill the squares where the rallies are held. One such case was in the 2013 elections when two teachers denounced the school principal in Roskovec to force and threaten teachers to go to a rally of an electoral subject, which he sympathized with or defended. The employees of the central institutions announce this.

This phenomenon has affected the paralysis of the work of state institutions. And the fight against it is significant. It does not consider that an employee enjoys the status of a civil servant and is independent in his public office. This phenomenon was also noted in the latest report of ODIHR observers. A few days ago, the information quoted that they have data that administration officials are threatened to participate in political activities, despite their political beliefs. Even more severe are the cases where children participate in various political rallies.

Although the Electoral Code prohibits children’s use for campaigning, teachers are the first to be ordered to take to the streets. The second paragraph of Article 328 / a KPRSH provides for cases when students of pre-university education are forced to participate in electoral activities of an electoral subject by employees who perform a state duty in public education, or responsibility or function in non-public education constitutes a criminal offense and is punishable by imprisonment of three months to one year. The OSCE report on the 2011 local elections reported many teachers and student staff participation in party elections.

Children’s use and encouragement to participate in rallies were observed in many cases, especially in the upper classes of 9-year schools or gymnasiums, which are not yet 18 years old. Cases of children using banners, flags, or decorations have been observed in rallies and PD, SP, LSI meetings in Tirana and the districts.