Women in 2015 Local Elections in Albania

With less than a month to the local elections of June 21, 2015 the political parties have now announced their official candidates to the new 61 municipalities.  It is quite impressive to see the increasing number of women running for Mayors.  From the vivid debates on the candidates, one of the most constructive things is the support of the general public to the ladies taking such big step.

In total, there are 14 women candidates, 12 coming from the governing left coalition and 2 from the right wing coalition.  Most of these candidates were previously engaged in politics as members of parliament, of government etc. The most important race would be for the Shkodra municipality, the biggest municipality in the north and the only one with two women candidates.  Durres, as the second important municipality following Tirana, has also a lady candidate from the Democratic Party.

Recently, the Assembly approved an ammendment to the Electoral Code providing for an increase of women representatives in the local councils.  As per the ammendment, the candidates list for councillors of the political parties should have consecutive names of each gender, ensuring a 50% of women councillors.  The initiative came from the women members of Parliament.  They also demanded an equal representation for Mayors candidates, but the proposal was not supported by the Parliamentary Legal Commission.