Analysis/ Is the reform in the judiciary system restoring “love” between DP and SMI?

Analysis/ Is the reform in the judiciary system restoring “love” between DP and SMI?

The reprocessed package of the reform in the judiciary system has once again reached the Venice Commission. SP, SMI and DP have their own stances, but the two latter ones seem to agree on one topic: Compromise. Is a new “love” being born between SMI and DP?

We will have insights from analysts Skender Minxhozi, Sokol Balla, Armand Shkullaku

Tirana, 19 January 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

The reprocessed draft of the reform in the judiciary system has now been sent to the Venice Commission. This reform has caused differences between the sides, although in principle, they are in favor of political consensus. But where do the sides’ proposals (SP, DP and SMI) change? Although this is a very important reform and a key criterion for the launch of EU accession talks, they could come to an agreement.

The topic which has been contested so much by the opposition and which seems to find the support of SMI, is the constitutional formula for the election of the members of judicial institutions such as the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and members of the Supreme Council of Justice. Socialists demand for all the members of these institutions to be elected with 3/5 of the votes or 84 votes in a parliament with 140 seats.

The opposition is asking for these members to be elected by 2/3 of Parliament, as according to them, the current majority already has and doesn’t need the consensus of the opposition and according to the latter, this may be dangerous as the justice system can be put under control.

The draft says that the term in office of the General Attorney, Adriatik Llalla ends with the entry in force of the constitutional amendments. Both DP and SMI are against this.

Another point that joins the DP and SMI is the increase of the control by the minister of Justice in judiciary institutions.

DP and SMI are also against SP in terms of the creation of new judiciary institutions.

The fact that SMI’s stance differs from that of the experts of the reform, is confirmed by Spartak Braho, SMI lawmaker and member of the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the Reform in Justice. Braho stresses on the recommendations issued by the Venice Commission, when he says that “there are three key issues that guide the drafting of the constitutional amendments: Consensus, minimalist interventions in the Constitution and reduction of new institutions which have been proposed beforehand”.

ibna spartak_braho

In this unclear atmosphere, the declarations of the opposition leader are seen no more and no less, but a “flash of new love” between DP and SMI. Lulzim Basha is working in two different fronts: on one side he attacks Edi Rama and on the other, he praises Meta’s stances.

In yesterday’s meeting of the DP’s parliamentary group, Basha issued clear messages, when after three years of accusations against SMI and its leader, Ilir Meta, he came up with positive words about them.

Commenting the approach of DP with SMI, after SMI refused, like the DP, “Rama’s unilateral draft”, Basha said that “SMI is demanding consensus and the involvement of the opposition”, by adding: “We praise the SMI’s stance”.

ibna basha (1)

Hoping that the SP will join this stance, “as the only solution to give way to the reform”, Mr. Basha appealed: “Let us work together for the big reforms, let us embrace consensus, as this is a value of the modern political culture”.

At the same time, Basha accused the prime minister that he and “his entourage with their oligarchic concept, have attempted to destroy the American and European will for the reformation of the judiciary system”.

***

The fact that draft will not travel to Venice on its own, because SMI and DP will also send their drafts, their complaints about the official draft is seen by journalist and analyst, Skender Minxhozi, director of “Java”, as an attempt for them “to influence the decision making of the Venice constitutionalists”.

Analyst Minxhozi points out that SMI’s stance in relation to the reform is very different to the one that the experts have.

ibna skender-minxhozi

“The position of the general attorney, the fact that it underlines the importance for consensus, minimalist interventions in the Constitution, the role of the minister of Justice, etc, are some of the details where Meta’s party thinks differently from the official experts of the reform”, Mr. Minxhozi notes.

Based on this and on other political circumstances, Minxhozi says that in relation to the reform, “today, more tangible than Rama-Meta alliance is the fluid alliance between DP and SMI”.

This seems to be true, taking into account the fact that the opposition didn’t conceal its sympathy for the SMI’s draft, considering it as a possible moment for compromise.

Minxhozi comes to the conclusion that today, the judiciary reform in Albania has created a three polar arena and based on the fact that SP and SMI have differences in terms of the reform in the justice system, he says that he’s hopeful that “the reform in the justice system must not be a way through which Edi Rama and Ilir Meta will control the justice system, as it has happened in the past 25 years”.

Meta’s warning that the reform in the justice system cannot pass without the opposition’s compromise, is seen by Armand Shkullaku, columnist at “Mapo”, as a fact that Meta doesn’t want to act without DP’s consensus for the reform in the justice system.

ibna Armand-Shkullaku

Shkullaku says that Meta’s declaration has put Rama in the most difficult position since he has come into power: “Rama not only could not find the consensus that was demanded by the international community with the opposition, but he seems to fail in having an impact on his ally too”, Shkullaku suggests.

The prominent analyst says that “SMI is almost openly flirting with the DP now” and that the latter “has decided to spare Ilir Meta by issuing suspicious signals in distance”. According to Shkullaku, this situation has made Rama anxious. “Rama is now in a position where he’s just letting the days go by under Ilir Meta’s mercy or in a position where he must declare early elections”.

For Shkullaku, “the more this dilemma is dragged on, the longer is the lack of governance in the country”.

“In this state of passiveness, Edi Rama is in a very difficult position”, the analyst says.

But would it be acceptable for Rama to declare early elections?

Mr. Shkullaku says that now it’s too late: “Even if he takes the courage to act, to put a stop to the game being played by his small ally with the cost of the early elections, it may be too late for Rama. He lost the chance to do this when the moment was right. Today, every decision taken by him would seem an obligation and not a choice. A problem and not a position in principle. He has lost his moral right to accuse SMI of becoming closer to the DP, since it did the same thing on April 1, 2013. He’s reaping what he himself sowed at that time and what he sowed in these two years”.

Meanwhile, Sokol Balla, presenter of the political show “Top Story” in Top Channel, sees the governing coalition in state of paranoia. According to him, this is Ilir Meta’s paranoia: “For a year, Meta is wondering if Edi Rama is plotting his political elimination. People close to him, in the absence of desire or wisdom, have chosen the shortest path: to convince him that the answer is Yes. Edi Rama demands the end of Ilir Meta”.

Balla says that “Edi Rama and Ilir Meta no longer ‘love’ each other” and that “their political marriage is a convenience marriage now”.

ibna sokol balla

He says neither Rama, nor Meta have had any doubts for this since the very first second when they approach again at the end of 2012. According to Balla, the main problem in the relation between Rama and Meta is the lack of trust on each other.

One of the results of the reform in the justice system is the anti-corruption unit. Balla says that Meta and his advisors see the special anti-corruption body as the anti-SMI special unit, “thus completing the conspiracy theory of political elimination perpetrated by Edi Rama”.

“But if Meta’s paranoia is somehow sophisticated, there are also other people who are feeding this paranoia with the aim of neutralization. Not Meta, but the current governing coalition”, Mr. Balla concludes.

At this point, he has a suggestion for Mr. Meta: “I hope that he will replace this paranoia with the forefront of the left wing coalition that he used to represent once upon a time, a mission which is yet to be completed, in spite of failures, corruption, moral destruction, for as long as the model in front is still a suffocating model of Berisha and his entourage”. /ibna/