The opposition will once again take to the streets on March 16th. This rally follows the opposition’s decision for mass resignation from parliament. For the first time in 28 years, the monist system has once again been restored in Albania, following the unanimous decision from the opposition to resign from parliament. Tension is mounting in the country as it’s still unknown whether parliament will be reconstituted with a new opposition in it coming from the waiting lists. While the country awaits local elections and the opening of the accession talks in June, the situation seems tense. In this interview for IBNA, former democrat MP Bedri Hoxha offers his take on this and much more.
What’s your comment regarding the decision of the opposition to boycott parliament and how did it come to this point?
This was the ultimate step the opposition could take following the unprecedented arrogance manifested by Rama. A government that comes to power thanks to vote-buying and collaborating with criminals, should be ousted as soon as possible. The whole country is in critical situation and suffering deep financial crisis. I have deep knowledge of the situation in different areas of Albania and I can tell you that this situation is unacceptable.
How do you view the current government?
This government is totally sunk in corruption. It’s not only the opposition aware of the thefts taking place through public procurement, but the press too. This is why the opposition deems this situation to be unacceptable. Despite of all these problems that the country is going through, Rama tries to make the situation look normal.
Do you think there’ll be more people attending the March 16 rally?
I think that it will be a massive demonstration. But it’s not just the number that indicates the importance of the protest. We should also take into account the message and the demands that the people are making. They no longer want to see vote-buying and widespread corruption in this country.
Do you think there will be a snap poll under these circumstances?
Albania will never be able to hold free elections with Rama in office. The aim of these protests is to make Rama leave and for the country to hold free and fair elections.
On the other hand, the international community is calling on the opposition to come back to parliament. What’s your view on this?
First of all, they do not know the situation in Albania that well. On the other hand, we cannot say that foreign officials are immune to corruption. What’s more the international community was caught by surprise when the opposition decided to make this move. They never expected this to happen, that’s why they need to follow the institutional way of doing things and call for us to return to parliament. However, their messages seem to be confusing and quite standard. They do not offer real solutions based on the Albanian reality. They mix Albanian reality with reality in their own countries. Albania does not have a normal democracy, it does not hold normal elections and it faces big problems with corruption. I’m not saying that the previous elections did not have any problems, however, no votes were bought with drug money, like it happened in 2017.