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Interview with the minister of Justice of Albania Petrit Vasili: Dialogue requires good will and mutual concessions

Interview with the minister of Justice of Albania Petrit Vasili: Dialogue requires good will and mutual concessions
Judicial reform requires maturity, composure, rationality and dialogue

Albert. Z.ZHOLI

The problem with the vetting process doesn’t only regard Albanian politics and international politics, but Albanian society too. On 20 February, minister of Justice, Petrit Vasli has sent a letter to two ambassadors, to the US ambassador, Donald Lu and the EU ambassador, Romana Vlahutin, who will also be members of the board of International Monitoring Operation for the implementation of the vetting law. In this letter, Vasili says that the setting up of IMO is anti-constitutional. He also says that there must be an international agreement for the role of IOM. On the other hand, the lengthy protest of the Democratic Party seems to have shattered hopes of dialogue for the continuation of the vetting process. Basha had declared that several European chancelleries had supported the continuation of the protest. But, yesterday, the German government has reacted for the first time about the situation in Albania after the opposition’s protest through Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson. Merkel criticized the opposition by saying: Return to parliament. Don’t send messages of violence as an instrument for controversial political objectives… AFP talked to minister Petrit Vasili to learn more how this gridlock can be solved.

-Mr. Vasili, you have sent a second letter to the two ambassadors, the American one, Donald Lu and the EU ambassador, Romana Vlahutin (who will both be members of IMO board for the implementation of the vetting law) for the Vetting Process. What seems to be the gridlock and how can this be solved?

Vetting is a process where opposition and majority share responsibilities. This is not a unilateral process. It is not done only for the majority. This process doesn’t require voting, but cooperation. It requires cooperation from both sides. It is not an issue of numbers in parliament. The commission can have three members from the majority and three from the opposition, or six from the majority and six from the opposition, but the problem doesn’t relate to the votes. We’re in a process of selecting people. Let’s assume that the selection process is done. The voting in commissions has been structured in such way that the two sides have equal numbers of members and a commission with 6 members cannot take any decisions unless 4 members vote in favor of that decision. Thus, the majority cannot decide unilaterally, because it has three votes (it needs one vote from the opposition). The answer is clear. I cannot make any interpretations, because the numbers speak for themselves. Thus, the vetting must be made along with the opposition.

-Then, what is the solution according to you?

In my opinion, this situation requires maturity, composure and sacrifice to achieve some sort of communication, dialogue or consensus. This is the way forward, otherwise it will be a process which we don’t know when it will end.

-Has this situation had an impact in the relations between SP and SMI?

This is a bill which has been voted by the majority. There are no divides here. The opposition has not voted this bill. The question is: are we going to make the opposition part of the solution of this problem?

-Yesterday, the German government has reacted for the first time on the situation in Albania after the opposition’s protests through Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson. Merkel criticized the opposition by saying: Return to parliament. Don’t send messages of violence as an instrument for controversial political objectives… What’s your input on this? Does this give the green light for the opposition’s return to parliament?

-We would like for DP to return to parliament in order for everything to be solved through dialogue. Dialogue requires good will and mutual concessions. In other words, the judicial reform requires maturity, composure, rationality and dialogue.

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