Why did the 2013 electoral defeat of the opposition become greater in 2015?

Why did the 2013 electoral defeat of the opposition become greater in 2015?

Analysis/ The Democratic Party has recently faced a constant period of defeats, from which not only it cannot escape, but they are consolidating its “power” in opposition. Following the great defeat in the parliamentary and local government elections, the DP, which is led by the acting mayor of Tirana, Lulzim Basha, is once again facing a drastic defeat. This party has only won 15 out of 61 municipalities in the country. The causes are many, but an analysis on the elections is expected to be later carried out by the opposition. Now, it’s the analysts who offer their pros and cons about this situation, which has left the country with a less effective opposition.

Tirana, 26 June 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

Prof. Dr Kastriot Islami, opposition MP, says that the left faced in the last elections, a process which was held in conditions of an “oligarchic regime”.

According to Islami, the left wing entered these local government elections as a bigger coalition, thus creating a gap with the opposition. “In 2013, the current majority obtained 83 seats through oligarchic means and mechanisms. After this, the majority became bigger by obtaining 3/5 of seats”, the former speaker of Parliament says.

“Later on, he continues, with the same oligarchic mechanism, this majority invited in the coalition two parties which belonged to the right in 2013, (PDIU and PDK) and then FRD, in order to secure 1 070 000 votes throughout the country”.

Former Foreign Minister in left wing governments says that in front of this situation, the opposition alliance entered the 2015 elections with an electoral potential of around 620 thousand votes.  “Therefore, ‘the electoral battle’ of 2015, in “an entirely oligarchic environment”, started with the biggest oligarchic majority led by Rama with 1 million and 70 thousand votes and a right wing alliance with around 620 thousand votes, which means that there was an electoral difference of 450 thousand votes”.

What is the result of the 2015 elections?

In these local government elections, as a coalition, the left wing obtained around 840 thousand votes or nearly 200 thousand votes less than in 2013.

Meanwhile, the right wing opposition managed to collect around 670 thousand cotes.

Mr. Islami, who is a mathematician by profession, prefers to make several calculations: “In 2015, “the initial oligarchic gap” of 450 thousand votes has reduced to 170 thousand votes’.

For Mr. Islami, this is a big success for Albanian voters, both democrats and socialists, “who under the oligarchic threat of the big majority, through their abstain, managed to reduce the 450 thousand votes gap by almost three times”,

Compared to the 2013 elections, there were around 200 thousand Albanians who didn’t turn out in the 2015 elections. “In terms of percentage, this means that that Albanian voters have reduced the initial gap of 31-32% to 10-12%, by 20% or by two thirds”, Islami suggests.

According to Islami, “this is a big success of the citizens, both left and right, who have been led in a modest way by the opposition”. But Islami is still pessimistic: “The central oligarchy has also spread its roots on a central level, although Albanian  voters reduced the “oligarchic gap” of 31-32% to around 11-12%, but without managing to “dismantle” the central oligarchy or to prevent it from spreading it on a local government level’.

The notable analyst, Mustafa Nano, says that Lulzim Basha must leave the Berishian past and start to build a party which is truly led by him. “Basha must aim and build his DP. This is done by leaving the Berishian culture and logic behind, but above all, realizing that DP is destined to become extinct if he stays faithful to this heritage and if he remains under the orders of people who belong to the past now”, Mr. Nano says.

Selami Xhepa, a known columnist, former democrat MP and former vice minister of Finance, says that the motives for the defeat in the local government elections must also be searched in the 2013 elections. According to him, “the desperate result comes as a result of the lack of analysis for the 2013 defeat”.

“In 2013, the defeat went without undergoing an important process of critical analysis and a self judgment, in order to create a new opposition stance”, Mr. Xhepa says.

According to him, the big defeat in the parliamentary elections “did not identify anybody to blame for the defeat, but there was only distancing by some of the heads of DP and new arrivals, which didn’t seem to bring any positive results”.

Another cause which Mr. Xhepa attributes to the weak result is the expectations that the citizens have: “The way how the DP has built its being in opposition during the past two years and the way how it has conveyed these messages in the electoral campaign, has not managed to convince Albanians that there’s a new alternative in this opposition force”.

Columnist Prec Zogaj, former democrat MP, says that the opposition’s defeat in the local government elections must be accepted with dignity. “Accepting it is the best premise to see the positive elements of the general negative result”.

For the notable writer and journalist, a significant increase in the number of votes obtained by opposition candidates throughout the country and a drop of the number of votes obtained by the government’s candidates compared to the previous elections-over 200 thousand-may condole the Democratic Party led by Lulzim Basha.

Zogaj says that in order for the DP to win the next elections, it must conduct a deep analysis of the violations and standards that it has publicly denounced.

“Based on concrete facts administered by it or served by international observers, the largest party of the opposition must also harmonize its opinion with the American and European partners, if these elections showed a regime type governance in Albania, which uses threats and brainwashing to control entire groups of voters”.

Zogaj insists that for this conclusion to fair, it must be based on facts and professional analyses.

Other analysts too are critical against the opposition about the fact that it only won 15 out of 61 municipalities of the country.

Former MP of this party, Mark Marku, a notable columnist and professor of journalism, says that both Mr. Basha and PM Rama interpreted the election result in the wrong way. “Basha said that the opposition had won, as the opposition supporters had grown compared to the last elections and referring to this figure, he was right. But he didn’t give any signals that a deep analysis would be under way in order to find the reasons for such figures and the reasons that although the disappointment and discontent against the government, the opposition could not capitalize this discontent”.

Those who are unhappy with the government have many reserves and do not trust the opposition. Why is this happening? Is it perhaps because the Democratic Party didn’t carry out a deep analysis of the causes that led to the great defeat two years ago? Or perhaps the Democratic Party is not yet a serious governing alternative for the country?

Mr. Marku finds the answer for these on the way how the election result must be read. “If Mr.  Basha interpreted the results in the right way, he would perhaps give us a signal that he was ready to leave the mentality of incompetent people who have filled the central structures of the DP and the ridiculous parliamentary group-excluding a small number of decent MPs-and who go on by saying that the DP will come in power as a result of the bad governance by the left”.

For Mr. Marku, this results clearly showed this: “The left wing can govern as poorly as it likes, but it can stay in power for as long as the opposition is not convincing for the citizens”. /ibna/