The political situation in the country seems to be favouring the opposition, while this second term is proving to be a difficult one for Rama’s government. This is the opinion of former MP, Marko Bello who gave an exclusive interview for Albanian Independent News Agency. “Rama has brought unknown people in his cabinet, without a political career and without experience”, he says, adding that “at the end of the day, elections are the ones to show which political force enjoys more support among people”.
Interviewed by Albert Zholi
What is your opinion on February 16? In your view, will the opposition’s protest bring something new?
United opposition has announced that it will hold a protest on 16 February against the way the Socialist Party is governing the country. Besides the different accusations that it’s launching against the government for insufficient efforts in the war against crime, widespread corruption and a stalemate in the process of European Union integration, the opposition is also presenting an alternative program which includes reduction in electricity prices, fuel and income tax. This protest will also show the real support that the opposition enjoys amongst people.
We’ve already seen the changes taken place within Rama’s government. What is your opinion on these changes? Will the government crisis be overcome?
In contrast to the first term in office (2013-2017), in this second term, PM Edi Rama is facing many difficulties in implementing reforms and improving the performance of his governing cabinet. His aim was to prevent the opposition from accusing those figures who have been involved in corruption scandals.
How would you comment the students’ protests? Do you consider their demands to be fair? Why aren’t they being supported and can the pedagogical staff be blamed for this? Don’t you think that the spirit of the protest has significantly declined in the recent days?
The students’ protest proved the government wrong. This protest showed that things were not going as well as the government claimed and that people would finally react against all the injustices being made to them. The protest was also surprising for the opposition, who had fallen in a state of lethargy, without any ideas. Unfortunately, that protest did not meet the expectations of the majority of people, who believed that students would solve many of the big problems that Albanian society is facing. Nevertheless, this protest remains a glimmer of hope in a country which has not yet come out of a transition period to become a society where there’s rule of law and a market economy.
This protest comes at a time when the Democratic Party has reorganized its structures. Will this bring something new within the opposition?
Without undermining the opposition’s efforts to reorganize its structures, I’m left with the impression that the opposition is suffering from the same syndrome that the ruling party is suffering: formalization, unknown figures, disregard for the party’s statute, problematic elections, etc. The party’s leader is imposing his will on the party’s structures and its members. They are being forced to accept everything that the party leader says. Meanwhile, the opposition is not active at all. Apart from the usual news conferences, the opposition is doing nothing else.
The situation seems tense. Do you think there will be early elections?
It’s normal for the opposition to request early elections in order to come back to power. I cannot say if there will be early elections, however, we will have to wait until June to see how things will go on. If united opposition manages to change the situation and gain support amongst the population, then the government’s days are counted. Otherwise, the majority will complete its term in office and will try and obtain a new one, although chances for this to happen are small.