Home > Voting procedures > ALBANIA - Opinion on the Scope of the Power of the President to set the Dates of Elections
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Paragraph 64

Often, political parties prefer to take part in dubious elections in which fraudulent acts are suspected, alleged or even substantiated rather than not participate at all. The scientific studies on the consequences of boycotting are dissenting, but suggest mainly that it usually does not lead to wide reforms at least in the short run.31 Boycotting does not in itself lead to a constitutional crisis or instability of public order, but that may happen after the elections if the elected political parties do not make enough effort to reform the constitutional system and communicate with the abstained political parties or the electorate. Postponing elections is thus not the only solution to deal with the situation. Further constitutional reforms could be discussed among the stakeholders, even if the lack of legitimacy of the election results becomes clear after the elections (due to a low participation level).


31 See e.g. Frankel, Matthew, Threaten but Participate: Why Election Boycotts Are a Bad Idea, Policy Paper number 19, March 2010, Foreign Policy at Brookings (https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/02_election_boycotts_frankel.pdf)