IBNA Analysis/Elections and the three rivals for power

IBNA Analysis/Elections and the three rivals for power

Parliamentary elections in Albania will be held on 18 June 2017, the President has signed the decree

By Edison Kurani

In Albania, parliamentary elections will be held next year on 18 June.

The decree for the data on which the general elections will be held has been signed on Monday by the President of Republic.

This date was not a surprise, because parliamentary elections in Albania are always held at the beginning of Summer and for years, they have been held in June.

These elections are expected to be an important test for Albanian politics. According to opinion polls, there are three main political forces in the country with the biggest impact among voters.

They are the Socialist Party, which leads the left wing coalition of PM Rama, Socialist Movement for Integration, the second “head” of this coalition and the Democratic Party, the main opposition force led by the right wing leader, Lulzim Basha.

Rama is aiming to grab a second term in June with the aim of holding on to power for eight years, as it was the case with the right wing PM, Sali Berisha from 2005 until 2013 or the left wing led by Fatos Nano from 1997 until 2005.

On the other hand, the opposition is aiming to come back to power. In the 2013 elections, it conceded a bigger defeat, obliging Berisha to resign from all the positions that he held and to hold only the position of MP. His descendant Basha is trying to rebuild the right wing which was defeated three years ago. Some say that this seems difficult. In 2015, the local government elections were held and the opposition conceded a bigger defeat than in 2013. During these tree years, several partial elections have been held, but in all cases, the DP has been defeated. Basha says that these elections are rigged by PM Rama.

Meanwhile, the movements that will be made by the chairman of SMI and Speaker of Parliament, Ilir Meta are expected with a lot of interest. This party was born in 2004 as a result of the conflicts within the SP. Until 2009, it remained out of the left wing and right wing camps, but then, it entered a coalition with Berisha. Four years later, a few months before the elections, it got out of this coalition and it joined Rama’s SP.

Now it’s time for SMI to decide if it will continue with the current coalition, if it will head to elections alone or if it will join the right wing again.

However, one thing is clear, everyone loves and everyone hates SMI. They love it because its growth among voters in the recent years has been impressive and under these circumstances, it is a decisive factor for the creation of a government. On the other hand, everyone hates it because it is a party which neither the SP, nor the DP can do without. What’s more, SMI continues to grow due to the fact that given that it makes coalitions with both the left and the right, a perception has been created that to support SMI means to be with a party in power.

Now that its figures are become higher and higher, SMI has other objectives: It aspires to create a government on its own. In order to do this, it must win 71 seats out of a total of 140 seats in parliament, as opposed to 20 seats that it holds today. /balkaneu.com/