Interview with former democrat MP, Astrit Veliaj: “If elections are held according to Rama’s plan, then there will be only one team on the field and no opponents. But the game has its rules and Rama wants to break them”.
“We will mount pressure on the government. We will put more pressure than we used to do before. We took the first step of relinquishing our parliamentary mandates. In the future, protests will escalate and the number of demonstrators will grow”. This was declared in an interview for IBNA Media Group by former Democratic Party lawmaker, Astrit Veliaj. According to him, time has come for the Prime Minister to reflect and make concessions.
Interviewed by Albert Zholi
Yesterday, five Democratic Party’s allies have formed the Center Right Group. Meanwhile, PM Rama said once again that elections will take place on 30 June. What’s your take on this?
If elections are held according to Rama’s plan, then there will be only one team on the field and no opponent. Rama will not play against opponents, but against the fans. However, the game has its own rules and it’s played by two teams. Meanwhile, fans remain fans. Rama wants to break these rules. So, he doesn’t want to play with the opposition, but he wants to play with the fans who are in the stadium. There’s no sense to this. This is not what Albanians are expecting.
So what do Albanians expect according to you?
They expect to see the big change. For decades now Albanians have been playing with only one team on the field and the fans on the stadium. They want to leave this model behind. They’re fed up with this arrogant government.
So, yesterday’s decision of the opposition coalition not to enter the elections with Rama as Prime Minister is fair, according to you?
Yes, of course it was a fair decision. How can we enter elections with an incriminated government and an arrogant prime minister?
So, it’s been decided that this is the only path?
Of course it’s the only path. If we enter the elections with Rama as Prime Minister, then elections will be rigged once again.
What will the opposition do under these circumstances?
We will mount pressure on the government. We will put more pressure than we used before. We took the first step of relinquishing our parliamentary mandates. In the future, protests will escalate and the number of demonstrators will grow. The aim is to remove this evil force once and for all.
What is, according to you, the biggest problem of this government?
The fact that it has a demagogue Prime Minister.
A new political force, called Democratic Conviction, has been recently created. Do you think this will act as a real opposition and do you think it will hurt the Democratic Party in terms of the support that it enjoys among voters?
This political party is insignificant. Why? Because the people who represent it are not real, they’re artificial. In order to enjoy authority and support amongst people, you need to know the problems and hardships that people have to face on a daily basis. What is the electorate expected to feel about these parties? Why would people follow Astrit Patozi? What does he have to offer?
So, we’re expecting to see interesting developments on June 30?
I think that Rama will withdraw and make concessions. He will realize that there should be no more clashes.
Because each clash has its own costs and some costs are bad for everyone. So, time has come for Rama to make concessions. I think he will surrender.
Is it because we’re ahead of the launch of accession talks?
Perhaps the decision to open accession talks will force him to withdraw. Personally, I have faith that Rama will make concession and this is the right moment for it because the country is ahead of the decision concerning the opening of accession talks with the EU.