Opposition in Albania ends its boycott, resolution of cooperation voted in Parliament

Opposition in Albania ends its boycott, resolution of cooperation voted in Parliament

IBNA Special Report

Tirana, December 24, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

The Democratic Party in Albania has put an end to the parliamentary boycott which lasted five months.

The boycott was ended thanks to a joint resolution proposed by the European Parliament which brought back to parliament opposition MPs.

This resolution received the full consensus of the majority and opposition, with 126 votes in favor in the last parliamentary session of this year.

The session started around midday, but democrat MPs were absent at the start of the session. This has led the speaker of parliament, Ilir Meta to say that “the opposition is welcome to join the proceedings at any moment”.

A few moments later, following a meeting of the democrat parliamentary group, the head of this group, Edi Paloka confirmed the end of the boycott.

“The opposition enters parliament. We’re entering parliament for the resolution and we hope that as of today, the majority will not breach this resolution”, said Paloka.

In the speech held in this session, Paloka said that the opposition comes back with its head high, because it managed to have its demands fulfilled.

“We return in order for this parliament to become the temple of democracy. For us, boycott became necessary as this parliament turned into a place where the rights of the opposition were breached. Physical violence against opposition MP was the last act that happened in a parliament where the law and Constitution was not respected. A parliament where the victim of aggression was punished the same as his aggressor. The only thing that we demanded was for the majority not to pretend as if it didn’t know what the opposition demanded. We hope that the approval of this resolution will put an end to problems that obliged us to leave parliament”, declared Paloka.

Berisha: A historical day, Rama must cut his ties with crime

Former PM, Sali Berisha declared after 24 years, the Democratic Party saves parliamentary democracy in the country through an accord, by considering it as a historical day.

“This situation led the parliamentary republic to the abyss. This situation was saved with the intervention of European Parliament, where it was said that the boycott of the Albanian opposition is not like the boycotts in other countries, said Berisha.

According to Berisha, the resolution aims at introducing democratic standards and through this, the majority can never block opposition’s parliamentary committees, by adding that a new standard is being introduced.

He said that the majority is tied with crime and corruption after it formed 3/5 of the majority by purchasing MPs, but he underlined that the European Parliament cannot tolerate this, as these seats were purchased with drug and crime money.

Berisha mentioned what he called as ties of PM Edi Rama with criminal gangs, adding that the head of the government is their servant. He said that Europe’s message is that Albania cannot move forward without cutting these ties.

“It was agreed for this agreement to be implemented by those who are the main guardians of European standards, those who deserve deep gratitude by all Albanians. There are no losers from this agreement”, said among others the former head of the democrats, expressing that he’s determined to defend values that are the foundation of democracy.

Balla: Opposition boycotted without any reason

After the approval of the resolution, socialist MP, Taulant Balla thanked the two MEPs who enabled the return of the DP to parliament, by saying that the opposition boycotted without any reason.

“I’m very happy that Sali Berisha too came back to parliament because his mandate could not expire. The fact that DP has had MPs who objected the official line of Berisha and Basha, shows that we have not reborn Albania, but we also contributed in the rebirth of the Democratic Party”, said Balla after the parliament session.

Bases for the political agreement between the ruling majority and opposition in Albania.

 –Opposition returns to the parliament and fully restore its parliamentary work refraining from boycotting the parliament and its committees; while ruling majority will not use its (3/5) majority to bypass the opposition but will seek together with the opposition consensus on important reforms whenever possible;

-All parties will contribute to political dialogue, taking place primarily in the parliament and to the respect of the Constitution and systemic implementation of decisions of the Constitutional Court. The ruling majority and the opposition will engage in reviewing the rules concerning efficient functioning of the parliamentary inquiry committees based on the best international practices;

-The opposition and ruling majority commit to work together in consensual way with help from the EU on the issue of individuals with criminal records holding or seeking to be elected or being nominated to a public office based on European standards and assistance of the Venice commission;

-The representatives of the major political groups in the European Parliament S&D and EPP will support such political agreement. /ibna/