By Ivana Dervishi / BIRN
Hundreds of citizens gathered outside parliament on Thursday to urge MPs not to vote on the waste import law, although the vote was temporarily withdrawn from the agenda.
Hundreds of citizens and environmental activists gathered on Thursday in front of the Parliament to protest against the adoption of the integrated waste management law. The protesters, some of whom spent Wednesday night in front of the Parliament as a sign of resistance, called on the deputies not to approve the law returned to the Parliament, after the non-decree by the President of the Republic, Bujar Nishani.
On November 14, the President returned the law (in Albanian) No. 92/2016 “On some additions and changes to the law No. 10463, dated 22.09.2011, “On integrated waste management” on the grounds that it contradicts the Constitution and international conventions and endangers the health of Albanian citizens.
Proposed by three Socialist Party deputies in July, the law passed on September 23 in parliament with 63 votes in favor and 27 votes against. After the non-decree by the president, for the law to enter into force, it must be voted by a majority of 71 deputies.
Expected to be on the agenda, the draft law was suddenly withdrawn from the November 24 session, due to different positions between the ruling coalition parties, LSI and SP.
However, he became part of the political discussions inside the Assembly hall, while civil society representatives continued the protest outside.
Deputy Ben Blushi, who founded the Libra movement after leaving the Socialist Party, said in the Assembly that the draft law on the import of waste has used up its 8-week period to be considered, while adding that his withdrawal from the session was due to of the lack of votes.
“Why is the law not followed? Because we don’t have votes because there are more votes of criminals than votes of those who want to vote for,” said Blushi.
But Eduard Shalsi, one of the deputies proposing the law, said that the majority waited for the response of the European Union and warned that the draft would be returned to the Assembly for a vote, after being discussed in the relevant Commission.
Protesters outside the parliament strongly demanded that the deputies do not open the way for the import of waste to Albania and withdraw once and for all from the draft law.
The full article published by Reporter.al can be found here (in Albanian).