This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Eduard Zaloshnja
It’s been more than six months that the Democratic Party attacks the Socialist Party about the political immunity that the latter offered to Saimir Tahiri, who is being investigated by the Serious Crimes Prosecution on suspicion of having collaborated with a group of drug traffickers. The Democratic Party also accuses him of allowing the cultivation of drugs everywhere in the country (even close to Rinas international airport).
It’s been several months that the Democratic Party has been attacking the socialist government about the toll charge in the Albania-Kosovo highway and the tax applied to small businesses. This party also launched a campaign of civil disobedience recently.
It’s been several weeks that the Democratic Party has been attacking the minister of Interior, Xhafaj for allegedly preventing his brother’s extradition, while the latter has been given a prison sentence five years ago in Italy for drug traffic.
It’s been several weeks that the Democratic Party, after holding its national assembly, is trying to convince its supporters that the party will now be more open and more democratic. (The chairman will no longer be able to draft the lists for mayors and MPs as he pleases).
All of these political actions would need to increase the number of supporters of the DP significantly (compared to the support it received in last year’s election). But is this the case?
According to an opinion poll that I conducted during the weekend for a magazine published here in the English language, the number of DP’s supporters has registered a significant increase compared to the number of people who voted this party in last year’s election However, this party is still far from the 680 thousand votes that the right wing coalition received in 2013. And this happens at a time when other parties also register a significant drop in support.
The DP is facing a real problem (also revealed by the opinion poll mentioned above) and this problem relates to the failure to attract voters who have supported small parties. Small parties such as PDIU, LIBRA, FRED, Challenge, FRD, etc., managed to win 145 thousand votes last year, while today they have 60 thousand supporters. So, a good part of the 85 thousand voters who have left small parties, are not ready to vote the DP today, being the main opposition party.
The DP is not even able to attract right wing voters who did not participate in last year’s election. Let us not forget that last year, this party saw 220 thousand voters leave (compared to 2013).
According to the opinion poll, around 160 thousand voters are still undecided today as to whether they should vote or not. But, among them, only 20 thousand voted the DP last year. Meanwhile, around 140 thousand others who are undecided today, voted left wing parties last year or they didn’t vote at all.
To sum it all up, we could say that the DP has registered some sort of growth (compared to the lowest result it registered in last year’s elections), but it is still far from the number of votes it obtained in 2013.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy.