OP-ED/What can we expect from the opposition’s protest?

OP-ED/What can we expect from the opposition’s protest?

This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al 

By Roland Qafoku

The Democratic Party has announced that on Saturday, 26 May, it will hold one of its biggest protests ever held up until today. Despite the fact that this date has entered the history of this party as the date of the most disgraceful elections ever held in the past 27 years, there’s a great expectation from this protest. In fact, before stating what the public opinion is expecting, we need to stress that with the audio recording that it made public, the Democratic Party managed to achieve a great victory, which cannot be denied. After the recording was made public, the Interior minister Fatmir Xhafaj sent his brother to Italy and it’s been a week that this person is being held in a prison in Rome. This means that the Democratic Party has achieved an undeniable victory. Thanks to its denouncement, Agron Xhafaj is no longer living a quiet life in Vlora, but instead, he was extradited to Italy. But it’s clear that for the Democratic Party, the extradition of the minister’s brother was one thing and the impeachment of the minister was another.  So, what do we expect from the protest that will be organized on Saturday by the Democratic Party, the opposition and common people, whom the DP considers to be as initiators of this protest? In fact, the opposition has tons of reasons to protest against the government. It would be enough to take a look at the reports issued by foreign institutions, stating that the country’s economy is in dire straits, the business climate unfavorable, taxes are high, corruption has spread everywhere and the culture of impunity continues to thrive. But what should the opposition achieve on Saturday?

First of all, the protest means that the opposition not only exists, but it also puts the government in difficulty, forcing it to reflect and change course of action thanks to what the opposition will do and demand. We believe that the biggest victory of the opposition is to oblige the government to carry out a deep reformation of the administration. It should be more careful with ministers, deputy ministers and its officials. Local government elections are ahead of us and discussions have already started about the names that will be elected as mayors.  What they need to aim for is to nominate candidates who are not connected to the underworld, to the traffic of drugs; we want candidates with no criminal records. And this is no small thing for the opposition, because it has started this battle five years ago and truth be told, it has achieved so much.

As far as the removal of Fatmir Xhafaj is concerned, there are not many people who believe it. The opposition could not even achieve this in March last year when it pledged that it would not allow him to take up his post. We don’t think that Xhafaj will not be minister of Interior on Saturday. With or without the protest. However, this cannot be considered as a failure of the opposition. Let us not forget that the World Cup is approaching  and the public opinion will focus on this competition rather than politics.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy