IBNA Special Report
Tirana, September 29, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
In Albania, the opposition publicly apologizes for the first time to the citizens for the mistakes made during eight years in government. This act was carried out by the leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha this weekend in the National Assembly of this political force. This apology comes a year after the resignation of Sali Berisha as prime minister, following the great defeat in the general elections.
Basha: DP officials were complacent
The democrat leader said that the distance created with the citizens was one of the motives for the defeat. “A part of our representatives in the headquarters and branches were tired of the government. Some felt that they were very important to listen to the citizens, to heed their problems and hold electoral campaigns”, said Basha.
“The government invested for great works, but some of our representatives were complacent”, continued Basha by adding: “Some forgot that between the public works and the citizen with his personal problems, there’s room where our representatives should have served with devotion”.
Basha said that some democrat MPs have never been seen in their electoral constituency during the four year term in office. Bashal also added that “directors and officials have behaved against the principles and morale of DP”.
“Some of the people knocked on our doors to solve their problems, some of us only cared about our comfort. I’m not talking about a physical distance with the people, but living in a parallel world and not understanding the citizens”.
The democrat leader, who has been mayor of Tirana for three years now, said that the rule of law saw problems in several important sectors of public life, especially near the end of the second term. “The return of properties didn’t preserve the projected pace and the same thing goes for legalizations. Cases of bribery, abuse and corruption, which according to democrats, intensified with time, compromised the credibility of our promises in the eyes of the public.
Cases of arrogance or negligence toward the situation where a part of the enterprise found itself as a result of the global crisis, were not part of our political motto as a party of free incentive”, said Basha.
For all of this and every other deficiency, said Basha, on behalf of DP, I humbly apologize today from this tribune to the members of the Democratic Party and above all, the citizens who feel abandoned and who have reason to feel disappointed in their expectations from our government”.
Berisha follows a different tactic to Basha
Sali Berisha MP was presented in the National Assembly as the historical leader of the DP. Contrary to Basha, Berisha used the old tactic of the attack against the left and the praising of his government. While Basha focused his speech in the criticism against the democrat government and public apology, Berisha focused his speech in what he considered to be a failed government of Rama and Meta and mentioned once again what he considered as big achievements of his 8 years in government. Berisha launched a number of accusations against the majority and warned that in the months to come, instead of local government elections, there may be general elections.
Agreement with the government?
The democrat leader has addressed an invitation to the head of the government in order to have a pact between the sides. “Edi Rama must speak, in order to create the necessary premises to head toward an important agreement between the majority and opposition, which would once and for all solve the issue of the sovereignty of the rulings of Constitutional Court, the issue of the decriminalization of the Parliament of Albania and public administration, by dismantling the mechanism that promotes traffickers, killers and hostage takers in parliament and public offices”.
This agreement was also commented by former prime minister Berisha. He was ironic and skeptic when he said: “As to prime minister’s Rama to respect this agreement, I can say that if there’s a person who doesn’t know any laws or morals, his name is Edvin Kristaq Rama”.
Meanwhile, the head of the government has not commented this project-agreement.
Sources from DP told IBNA that in the coming days, BAsha will announce the points of the agreement
DP statute changes
National Assembly of DP has also approved several changes in its statute. These changes were presented by MP Eduard Halimi, former minister of Justice. The amended DP statute expands the leading forums of this party, increases the number of departments and sanctions the principle ‘one member-one vote’.
Long voting process
For two days in a row, 7500 DP delegates voted at the House of Congress. The votes will be counted during this week. This process is expected to elect the names of a large number of DP officials, starting from the General Secretary and functional secretaries, to heads of departments, responsible people for the preparation of political platforms, including the governing and electoral program of the party. This process will also elect the new National Committee of DP with around 300 members.
Two questions raised in the National Assembly of DP
Two questions were raised during the proceedings of the National Assembly of DP and former prime minister Berisha said that “they require prompt and decisive response by democrats in all of Albania”.
The first question that was raised: “What will be the positioning of the DP toward the uncontained violation of the liberties of Albanian people by the Rama-Meta government? Will the DP accept this situation or will it rise determined to protect the rights of Albanians at any cost?
The participants considered this situation as urgent and said that street protests are a way to make their voice be heard. “Protest will be our motto in this state of emergency”, was said in the democrat congress.
Is the DP ready?
After almost a year and a half of the “cold shower” in the parliamentary elections, opposition led by the Democratic Party is constantly checking the changes in the electorate. What remains a mystery is: How much will the DP transform the opposition from a parliamentary minority to a governing majority? Chances seem both contradictory and difficult. The problem here doesn’t only relate to the clear shadow left by past elections, because even four years earlier, the DP could not win the elections, but entered a coalition with SMI, the second political force of the left, which is today in a coalition with Edi Rama. /ibna/