In the framework of the project Think Politically we analysed the approach to important issues  for the LGBTI community in the programs of the political parties that will participate in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

What is the “Think Politically” initiative?

“Think Politically” aims to encourage the LGBTI community to participate in the 2017 elections, provided with detailed information on the attitudes that political parties have on issues about this community. According to world studies 2 – 12% of the population of a country belongs to the LGBTI community. Official CEC data show that in the last parliamentary elections in Albania, the number of registered voters was 3,271,885, out of which about 110,000 are members of the LGBTI community.

Democratic Party Program

The Democratic Party in the “Attitudes” section published on its official website, mentions human rights on several occasions but does not specifically address LGBT issues.

For example, on the page “Security and Freedom” states: “All citizens are equal in front of the law, which must be based on respect to the fundamental and inalienable rights of the individual, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the Year 1948, to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950 and the Treaty of Lisbon on Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 2009”.

The views of the Democratic Party about Education and Health speak for fair and equitable competition between public and private education, meritocracy in employment and integration of every individual in society and work, but no specific mention is made of equal opportunities for marginalized communities and neither for LGBT.

In the attitudes of the DP regarding the family, there are notes of heteronormativity, where clearly is noticed the support for heterosexual families only.

The LGBT Alliance and Pro LGBT have had constant communication with representatives of the Democratic Party about the Ride Against Homophobia, which took place the same day with the protest of the Democratic Party. The two organizations received direct guarantee from the chairman of this party for the welfare of the Parade, which was held without incidents.

Justice Integration and Unity Party Program

The Justice, Integration and Unity Party is part of the leftist coalition in the Albanian Parliament, where it is represented with 4 mandates. The PDIU official website is updated with information and equipped with a session on the electoral program.

In the last electoral program found on the PDIU website, there is a dedicated human rights part. Among the achievements of the PDIU in this regard is mentioned “Unrestricted support to the law” “On Protection from Discrimination” as a new power in Albanian legislation on the protection of human rights.

But the “Goals” that PDIU has for human rights, only partially reflect Article 1 of the law “On Protection from Discrimination”. PDIU mentions “Prohibition of any discrimination regardless of Origin, Race, Sex, Language, Political Conviction, Education, Occupation or Social Situation”, not mentioning the prohibition of discrimination due to gender identity and sexual orientation.

If beyond the program approach we also consider the attitudes and statements of the representatives of this party in these 4 years, it is worth saying that the PDIU strongly opposed the legal changes that would have opened the path for cohabitation between the same gender. PDIU MPs in public statements have described opposition to issues of importance to the LGBT community as “cause and achievements of this political force”.

Republican Party Program

The Republican Party is a conservative right-wing party that currently has three mandates in the Albanian Parliament. On the official website of the Republican Party, four major issues have been published, one of which is titled “Homeland, Family, Properties”, which PR calls the pillars of the republican identity.

This party does not mention discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor in the session “The Building of a Constitutional Government of the PR Program” where is spoken about the fight against discrimination, “We Republicans, consider discrimination based on gender, race, age, religion, belief, disability, or national origin, unacceptable and immoral”, the program states.

The Republican Party classifies cohabitations between the same sex as “serious threats imported from other countries”. It even goes further, defending traditional marriage with some arguments based on assumptions. “Children who grow up in married families are more likely to study at universities, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or have a pregnancy outside of marriage”, is stated in the PR program.

Known even earlier for negative attitudes towards homosexuality, in the latest program published on the website, the Republican Party has called for the criminalization of homosexuality and has labeled it as a form of drug addiction, “To be banned homosexuality as a subversion of the human nature senses and any propaganda in favor of the spread of various drugs”.

Program of the Albanian Christian Democratic Union Party

This party is represented in Parliament with only a mandate, that of its chairman Eduart Ndocaj. In the absence of information on the statute or program of this party, the only information about its attitude towards issues of importance to the LGBT community is the Public Declaration of its chairman Ndocaj. During an interview for the “Të paekspozuarit” show, he has proudly expressed his attitude as a Christian Democrat against the LGBT community, continuing with a clear insult comparing LGBT people with a car license plate.

*This publication was made with the support of ILGA-Europe within its Creating Opportunities programme. The opinions expressed in the document do not necessarily reflect any official position of ILGA-Europe