By Roland Qafoku
The situation with the DP’s protest, which has entered its fourth day, is similar to this sentence which is in the form of an aphorism: All of Albania has set its eyes on the DP’s protest, but the DP’s protest has set its eyes on Ilir Meta. Not only because several representatives of the opposition have urged Ilir Meta to abandon Rama, but also due to the fact that the atmosphere among protesters of the big tent is such. “The tent’s residents” are more worried about what Meta thinks of the protest as opposed to what they are doing or what they are seeking through this protest.
I think that whoever has talked to those who are inside, has noticed a lack of clarity among them: There is no clear platform as to what the DP is aiming to achieve with this protest. There is no clarity on the phases of the protest and how the goals will be attained. There is no clarity on the way the protest will take place. Will it take place with those people staying there and playing chess or making selfies, or will it turn into a hunger strike?
The organizers of the protest are even more unclear than protesters. MPs and leaders of DP who have spoken in front of protesters have said that every decision will be taken based on the way the protest continues.
But why is the DP’s protest more focused on Ilir Meta than the protest itself? First of all, this comes as a result of the fact that a decision by Ilir Meta to leave the coalition would mean a government crisis and as a result, a political crisis and the DP may take advantage of this and snatch a great victory.
Secondly, if Ilir Meta and his party, SMI, leave the government, the request for free and fair elections becomes valid. In spite of DP and Lulzim Basha, Ilir Meta would never allow Rama to execute the scenario that the DP has been long proclaiming, according to which elections are bought. What president Bujar Nishani declared in January that 20 tons of cannabis seed have entered Albania to be cultivated and that preparations are being made to purchase the electoral process with dirty money, is an alarm not only for DP, but also for SMI and any other party.
Thirdly, if Ilir Meta decides to leave the coalition with the SP and the country goes through a government crisis, with this victory, the DP would grow in the eyes of the voters.
Fourthly, with this achievement, Lulzim Basha would grow his profile. Some people regard him too soft and some as a leader who is still controlled by Berisha and that Berisha is the only one that can make the DP grow again. In four years as leader of DP, this is the 6th protest that Lulzim Basha has organized, not forgetting the fact that in 2016, the DP has not held any protests. Not forgetting the question that Jozefina Topalli asked: Is this how the DP holds protests? But with Meta’s departure from the coalition and the government crisis, the most skeptic ones within and outside of the DP would surrender. If a government crisis is achieved, this would be Basha’s biggest victory and this would not be a small thing in only 4 years as leader of opposition.
Lastly, a coalition between the DP and SMI could appear on the horizon thanks to this new political victory. This means that in the elections, DP-SMI are more likely to win, although on paper, SP could win 71 seats.
Given this situation, whatever happens in the DP’s tent, whatever decision the DP takes, in a way or another, this protest is and will depend on Ilir Meta. Let us wait his decisions or his indecisions.
*The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line