• Parliamentary Boycotts in the Western Balkans - Case Study Albania

    Afrim Krasniqi (see profile)
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    Boycott, democratic transition, Democratization, Intraparty Democracy, parlamentarism
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    Albania stands out amongst former Eastern Bloc countries for most actively experimenting with almost all forms of parliamentary boycott. The Albanian way of resorting to boycotting is related to a host of widely unaddressed deficiencies and gaps in its democratic mindset, embodied in an endemic culture of permanent political confrontation between elites formed during the communist era, in the widespread application of a “winner take all” model, in the personalisation of politics, and in the incapacity of the constitutional bodies to forestall hostile takeovers of the state system. The intensive use of boycotting as the ultimate instrument to resort to for pursuing political goals through extreme means has significantly weakened the role of parliament in the Albanian national political system. Frequent boycotts have stimulated the unchallenged application of shortened and simplified parliamentary procedures for passing bills, unilateral changes in the Rules of Procedure of the assembly, and unilateral changes in the independent and constitutional institutions, undertaken by the ruling majority, left “alone at home” in parliament. A thorough study of parliamentary boycotting reveals Albania’s need for a greater and more sustained investment in political dialogue, in the promotion of constructive and institutional behavior by its political actors, and in the strengthening of political institutions for the purpose of curtailing the unrestricted and unchallenged power of leaders over their parties and over their fundamental policy decisions. Albania urgently needs to win back its citizens, its parliament, its institutions and its political parties for the purpose of building up truly democratic institutions based on fair competition, accountability and transparency.
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    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
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