Prof. Dr. Luçiano Boçi, who has served as democrat MP for several years now, has handed his resignation as part of the unanimous decision taken by opposition for mass resignation of its MPs. In this interview for IBNA, Mr. Boçi says that deformation of political representation is at the very core of this government. Referring to the recent protests that the opposition has been holding, he says that the opposition’s goal is clear: to overthrow the current government and to restore real democracy through real political representation through a fair and transparent electoral process.
How did the decision about these protests come and what are you expecting from them?
Massive protests express public anger. These protests are held by citizens and not the opposition. All of this anger comes from the numerous abuses involving government officials and the miserable situation that Albanian families are going through. This anger comes from the fact that Albanians no longer feel any security in life and at work. As a result of these protests, we’re the country with the lowest wages in the region, the poorest country, the unhappiest country, the country with the biggest corruption, the main country for the production and smuggling of cannabis, heroin and cocaine.
You mentioned several problems? Where do they come from?
Deformation of political representation is at the very core of this government. In a normal democratic system, the vote is a binding agreement for the government. When the vote no longer represents a binding agreement with the citizens and it turns into collaboration with criminals, then every obligation that the voter has becomes void.
Is this why you abandoned your mandates?
The decision to resign from parliament was an extreme step. This decision made it clear for public opinion in the country and for the international community what has actually been happening in Albania: democratic institutions no longer exist, while we have a police junta in place which is defending the interests of this government.
What is the scope of your protests?
The scope is clear. We want to overthrow the current government and restore real democracy through real political representation through a fair and transparent electoral process.
How do you predict these protests to go on?
These protests show that there are no longer any means to communicate with the government. These protests measure the revolt of the people and they reflect the failure of this government. They’re the only way of solving this economic, social and political crisis that the country is going through.
How were these protests received by public opinion in Albania?
In Albania, these protests have been seen as the only way to oust this regime. Citizens are expressing their support and their numbers are growing. Along with students, who have not yet ended their revolt, the protests today are also attended by doctors, teachers, jobless people, people whose homes are at risk and by every Albania whose hopes and future have been killed.
However, you don’t seem to enjoy any support by the international community…
The international community accepts these protests as the most democratic element, however, they seem to be unreasonably worried about the use of violence. This is a standard rhetoric, because anger is channeled in different forms, including extreme ones. What’s important is the fact that the opposition has not promoted violence. Sporadic acts cannot smear the protest and a protest without strong acts cannot be considered a protest. Protests contain anger, explosion and free spirits. It’s the job of police and the government to maintain order. The use of poisoning substances and military and police tactics which go as far as the setting up barbed wires and making massive arrests, clearly show that there’s a mental and emotional degradation of a government which is fighting against common people in the name of a group of corrupt officials. Rama must think hard about this if he doesn’t want to face the consequences.
How do you predict the March 16 protest that the opposition is expected to hold? Are you expecting to see more people in it?
Of course there will be. However, numbers are just a game. Actions are the ones that will lead to political decisions.
Does the decision to resign from parliament damage the opening of accession talks in June? What developments are you expecting to see in the country?
What really damages the opening of negotiations is corruption, involvement of the government in criminal affairs, lack of fair competition, the lack of democratic institutions, the control of the media and the installation of a politicized justice system.