Tirana, 23 June 23, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
In Albania, following a two day period without any declarations, the main political leaders, head of majority, Edi Rama and that of the opposition, Lulzim Basha publicly addressed the citizens on Tuesday evening.
The first one to address was Basha, who considered the elections as a step backwards for the country and added that the main feature of the process was the massive purchase of votes and the efforts of SP and SMI to rig the polls.
On the other hand, the leader of the left governing majority, Rama, said that the big victory in the June 21 elections is seen by him as a growing responsibility in front of Albanian citizens.
Basha: Elections are a step backward for Albania
In the local government polls to elect the new 61 one mayors of the country, at least 45 towns were won by the left wing and 15 by the opposition. However, the democrat leader considers this as growth for the Democratic Party and its allies and abandonment of the Rama- Meta majority by the people.
“In spite of the pressure exerted against the administration and the involvement of state institutions in the campaign, in spite of the transfer of voters and forgery of identity cards, in spite of pressure against free media, DP has taken a big step in the path of its comeback, by increasing popular support”, Basha said.
Basha suggests that June 21 was a clear message against majority and the new administrative division.
“The polls showed that their coalition was abandoned by the citizens, that Rama and Meta was abandoned, that they were against the administrative division which was made against their will”, Basha declared.
The opposition leader said that the elections did not achieve EU standards. “The elections are a clear step backward. OSCE, EU and USA spoke clearly and DP’s claims were proven right. The government ignored our demand not to run people with criminal records. This government showed that it’s not interested to do its homework”, Basha said.
Rama: DP lost the “referendum” for the government reforms
In his address to the nation on the elections, Mr. Rama said that the elections were the best ones held in the past 25 years in Albania.
“These were the freest, the most honest elections and the calmest elections ever held. Albania was a normal country with calm elections from Vermosh to Konispol”, Rama said.
The prime minister also commented on the strategy of opposition, which according to him had considered the local government elections as a referendum, adding that the right wing lost this “referendum” , warning that there won’t be any “begging” toward the DP to collaborate for the implementation of the administrative reform.
“DP’s reform for our reforms has been lost. Do not expect us to beg out loud. These elections were for every community and not just for parliament. Neither I, nor the speaker of parliament held a campaign for the DP’s blind referendum. I have never had any doubts on the support of the people for the reforms. I haven’t waited for June 21 to come in order to make this a model state, but of course, June 21 is a great encouragement”, Rama said.
The socialist leader also commented the criticism coming from OSCE/ODIHR, EU and USA on some of the aspects of the electoral process and said that they will be analyzed. “There’s room for improvement and we will do them in the future”, Rama briefly said. /ibna/