Parliament passed on September 27 with its first reading an amendment to the electoral code envisaging setting up of a state-funded, 21-member commission, chaired by opposition representative, to verify accuracy of voters list.
The proposal was part of the electoral system reform deal reached by the ruling party with some of the opposition parties in late June.
The deal envisaged that only those parties, which were part of that agreement, were allegeable to nominate members of the commission; but no such restriction is set by the amendment endorsed by the Parliament.
According to the endorsed draft, which still requires second and third readings before it goes into force, the commission will be established by the President and it will be “composed of representatives from the authorities, opposition and civil society organizations on a parity basis.”
A chairman of the commission, according to the draft, should be elected from the opposition members of the commission.
The commission will have the final say in drafting the voters list with the amendment saying that the voters list, approved by the commission after rechecking process and submitted to the Central Election Commission, will “represent unified list of voters.”
Decisions in the commission will be made with a majority vote of its members present, but not less than one-third of overall commission members.
According to the draft, the commission will use “various measures, including door-to-door checking” to verify the accuracy of the voters list.
The entire process of verification should end before July 1, 2012, according to the draft of amendment.
The draft was passed with its first reading to the existing electoral code, which is planned to be changed with a new one before the end of this year. The draft of new electoral code has already been initiated, but its adoption is pending before it goes through expertise of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body for legal affairs. It was decided by the ruling party and the parliamentary minority to go ahead with the amendment, related to the commission, in order to launch verification of voters’ list without delay.