Local elections after the discharge of a mayor for sexual harassment turn into a conflict between SP and President

Local elections after the discharge of a mayor for sexual harassment turn into a conflict between SP and President

Tirana, 3 August 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

In Albania, even the decreeing of local elections in a municipality in northeast has turned into a cause for conflict between the President and the Socialist Party in power. The story started a few months ago when the mayor of Peshkopi in the district of Diber, Shukri Xhelili, was filmed while sexually harassing a girl, demanding sex in exchange of a job.

The publication of the video by the media led to the decision of the Prime Minister to discharge him.

A day before, the Constitutional Court deemed the decision legitimate, giving way to early local elections.

The president didn’t delay and yesterday, he declared early elections in Peshkopi scheduled to take place on 11 September.

Today (03.08) socialists expressed their objection against this. MP Blerina Gjylameti said that the presidential decree is unlawful as it hasn’t complied with the deadlines.

“The decisions of the Constitutional Court enter in force on the day of publication in the Official Bulletin”, Gjylameti said.

ibna gjylameti

In fact, the Constitutional Court only announced the decision yesterday and didn’t say when it will publish the entire decision.

It publicly demanded from the President to cancel the election date, because “it is in violation of the law and as a result, it is completely invalid”.

A few hours later came the reaction of the President.

The President’s office said that it has complied with the law by announcing the decree 48 hours after receiving the notification of the Constitutional Court.

The President explains that based on the legal provisions, 4 and 11 September alone were the dates when elections could be held and it was opted for the latter.

ibna nishani

At this point, the two sides differed.

However, it is clear that the party in power is trying to gain time in order for the elections to be delayed as much as possible. This is implied when Gjylameti demands for the citizens to be left “the necessary time to elect their mayor”.

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What is sad about the Albanian politics is the way how institutions declare war to each other by using the media.

An unnecessary war over arguments which bear little importance, but which have a serious impact on the public opinion and its point of view and as a result, in the way it votes.

An unnecessary war which is done in the name of the law, behaving in the eyes of the public as if they are so “fixated” on upholding the law.

What’s more, both sides declare that the electoral process “must be held in a climate of trust, leaving the citizens to decide who will represent them”.

A question naturally arises at this point: With such clashes by politicians, who use the first opportunity that comes up to be involved in conflicts, what sort of climate of trust do they offer?/balkaneu.com/