IBNA Special Report
Tirana, July 8, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Problems have started to emerge in the new elections of the Democratic Party, the largest opposition force in Albania. Discontent has been seen in the main cities of the country such as Korca, Elbasan, Tirana, Shkoder, etc.
But, nevertheless, they have remained protesting voices within forums and reactions in social networks and outside the media attention.
Today, it’s Gjirokaster branch that has raised its voice by demanding the annulment of the election process, which it considers to be rigged.
The head of DP in Gjirokaster, Shemsho Lamaj, published a complaint addressed to the leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha about the problems emerged in the assembly of DP in Gjirokaster.
Mr. Lamaj has also attached to the complaint, the request that the elected members of the party’s steering committee in Gjirokaster, have sent to Mr. Lulzim Basha for the annulment of the elections for the head of DP in Gjirokaster.
Among others, the complaint says that the voting process in Gjirokaster didn’t even comply with the most basic procedures, therefore, the steering committee demands the annulment of the elections.
As it happened in the elections for the leader of DP, when the late Sokol Olldashi, Basha’s rival, complained about abuses with the lists, these abuses are also considered a major problem in the case of GJirokaster. “The delegate lists approved by the steering committees of the women’s forum of the party and the youth forum, were annulled an hour before the conference in an arbitrary way by anonymous delegates of the party’s head office who provided other lists”, said Mr. Lamaj.
Meanwhile, there have been resignations by the head of the women’s forum of the DP, Alie Kokalari, who is also secretary of DP in Gjirokaster and Buljana Karagjozi, head of the youth forum of DP.
These decisions followed accusations that the voting process in yesterday’s elections for the new head of DP in Gjirokaster was rigged.
The head of the women’s forum of DP, Alie Kokalari, said that she was resigning as a result of the pressure that was put against her during the elections for the new head of DP in Gjirokaster.
“I’ve been under pressure by delegates and members of the steering committee. I have suffered intolerable insults. They were insults addressed to me and my family. I thank the members that voted me”, said Kokalari.
The elections in Gjirokaster elected the new chairman of DP for this district, Roland Bejko, nephew of the head of the commune of Lazarat, an area known for its cultivation of drugs, Dasho Aliko.
Present in the DP elections in Gjirokaster was also the leader of DP, Lulzim Basha. The party’s headquarters didn’t publish any information on the problems that were denounced. During the meeting, Mr. Basha’s speech had a political nature where he expressed his concern about the first 300 days of the left wing government, saying that deterioration is evident everywhere. He said that the government has not only failed in every promise that it has made, but it has also significantly deteriorated the life of the citizens compared to a year ago. Four candidates ran in the race for the head of DP in Gjirokaster. Roland Bejko won by 8 votes against his rival, Shemsho Lamaj.
“Mobilization in difficult situations”
Analyst Artan Hoxha has commented the recent elections within the DP and alludes that this party is repeatedly using Roland Bejko, former prefect of Berat.
“Every time the DP goes in opposition and is almost dispersed in Gjirokaster, it elects Roland Bejko as a chairman and as soon as DP takes power, Bejko is no longer desired in the administration, in spite of his excellent education and his experience, on the pretext that he’s a stubborn from Lazarat and that he might cause problems…”.
Hoxha says that with Bejko’s election as head of DP in Gjirokaster, “his political opponents must feel respected, because they will face a worthy opponent”.
Recently, Bejko has often appeared on the media in relation to the events in Lazarat, where police managed to enter after 20 years and destroyed the “routine” of the cultivation and traffic of different drugs, mainly marijuana.
There have been constant problems in the recent weeks in the electoral process, as far as the voting and the names that would run. In Korca, many prominent figures of the DP openly expressed their disappointment. This also happened in Elbasan a few days ago. DP’s membership was waiting the announcement of Basha’s order for fresh names to run in the elections only, but the opposite happened. Some disappointed members openly declared in social networks that they gave up on their mobilization in the Democratic Party. /ibna/