‘Constitution can’t be changed every time terms expire’, analysts on vetting extension

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Exec at INFOCIP, Gerti Shella and attorney Plarent Ndreca went head-to-head during Euronews Albania’s panel show ‘Now’, when giving their takes on the recent changes applied to the Constitution in order to prolong the terms of our Vetting bodies.

According to Shella, the Constitution is a social contract between those that govern and those that are governed. Therefore, it can’t subdue to things that according to him, aren’t fundamental like “ordinary everyday needs”.

The Constitution, said Shella, can’t be meddled with just because 5 people’s terms expire – people, who according to Shella, should be held accountable and be asked to explain why they weren’t able to complete their work in time, before the end of their term.

On the other hand, attorney Plarent Ndreca pointed to the fact that repeated interventions into the Constitution aren’t right, seeing that it is a serious social contract that shouldn’t be subject to changes more often than is absolutely necessary. However, the prolongation of the terms of these Vetting bodies, according to him, is a request which has come directly from the OMN – not a decision made by the current administration.

Ndreca also went on to argue that the pandemic, which put things into stagnation for at least a year, was the reason for the incomplete work and therefore the necessity behind the Vetting bodies’ term extension.

In addition, jurist Saimir Visha argued that political subjects can’t just embark on such initiatives without consulting experts beforehand.

According to Visha, this intervention from the international community, to change our Constitution, is simply ‘wrong’.

Visha also added that if this ‘burden’ isn’t taken up by our High Prosecutorial Council and our High Judicial Council, then all this means is that our justice system isn’t reliable enough.

“In 31 years, the Constitutions might have undergone at least 50 changes,” – said the attorney, adding that we shouldn’t accept these ‘emotional interventions’ or the need to make ‘underground deals’ by getting the justice reform and handing over the territorial reform.

Member of the Democratic Conviction, Fabian Topollai gave his take on the issue, arguing that the opposition’s proposals to change the Constitution aren’t serious.

Topollai referred to the opposition’s demands to have politicians undergo a vetting scan, alongside the judicial, by saying that – “This doesn’t make sense, because vetting is only meant for members of the judicial, which is an autonomous institution, and when the latter is able to wash away its corrupt judges, then corrupt politicians will automatically fall into the hands of the justice system.”

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