Muharrem Xhafa, chairman of the Central Committee of the Albanian Labour Party, the main communist political force in Albania, believes that Edi Rama made the recent cabinet changes under opposition leader Basha’s growing pressure. According to Xhafa, cabinet reshuffle should not aim at protecting the “pockets” of departed ministers or the Prime Minister. Mr. Xhafa also believes that although it looks like the new cabinet ministers do not really belong to the Socialist Party, they are in fact part of it. Meanwhile, he criticizes the Socialist Party for leaving many important figures out of the cabinet.
In an interview for Independent Balkan News Agency, Mr. Xhafa suggests that “Mr. Rama should announce early elections in order to deliver a major blow to the opposition”.
Interviewed for Independent Balkan News Agency by Albert Zholi
The cabinet reshuffle has been on the focus of the latest political developments in the country. How do you consider them?
I don’t think cabinet changes should be dictated by the opposition. I think that they should be made whenever they’re needed and they should serve the government’s needs. Each government change needs to have the support of the public, otherwise, a responsible Prime Minister should announce early elections. Rama is the only one who can say whether government changes were needed or not.
In fact, the new ministers are not political figures and they cannot be considered as part of the SP. Do you consider this to be an intellectual crisis within the SP?
I think the SP has many intellectuals who have offered great contributions. Many have considered them to be unknown figures, whose contribution has been modest. Nevertheless, this is the Prime Minister’s responsibility.
The Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration have recently called for the holding of early parliamentary elections along with local government elections on June 30 of this year. Do you think that there will be elections? Do you think Rama’s government is undergoing a crisis?
The situation seems tense, not only within the majority, but within the opposition too, because the majority is revealing to be mature and it has not yet launched into action. It’s the opposition the one who is making mistakes, because it can never come into power with the number of supporters that it has. Judging by the circumstances, I don’t think that we will have early elections, but to deliver a major blow on the opposition, Rama should actually announce early elections.
On the other hand, the Democratic Party is trying to intensify the opposition’s action. Do you think the recent restructuring within this party will also bring a new spirit within the opposition camp?
I don’t think that the DP has done a major restructuring. The only thing it did was a few changes in the party’s forum. The aim was not to serve the Democratic Party’s purposes, but the “new” leadership. In my opinion, this will sink the DP into a deep crisis. This restructuring, which I consider to be mechanical changes within the DP, will not bring anything new within the opposition camp! I wouldn’t be surprised to see the DP more divided than before as a result of these recent changes that it’s made.