Rama and Basha meet for the first time

Rama and Basha meet for the first time

Tirana, 7 June 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

In Tirana, the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama and leader of opposition, Lulzim basha have met for the first time since the left came back to power, in an effort to put an end to the disagreements that have existed on the reform in the justice system.

The meeting also focuses in the next parliamentary elections, where the opposition demands electronic voting throughout the country.

Present in this meeting was also the vice chairman of the Socialist Movement for Integration, Petrit Vasili.

The media was only allowed a few moments to record some images and then the meeting continued behind closed doors for nearly three hours.

After the meeting, the sides spoke for the media, which was expecting the results of the meeting.

Prime Minister Edi Rama was the one to announce the failure of the meeting. He said that “we could not convince the Democratic Party to vote together the draft prepared along with our strategic partners of the reform in the justice system”.

Rama said that the draft that was brought on the table was the one discussed in the Ad Hoc Commission for the Reform in Justice accompanied with a plan containing several points which was offered by European and US experts in order to bring the parties closer.

“We had accepted this plan at 100%. This plan also included the 2/3 majority in case of voting which was demanded by the DP after the first reading of the Venice Commission. To everyone’s surprise, but not mine, DP refused this offer which puts the majority and opposition on equal terms when it comes to voting the candidates for the judicial system”.

Rama said that he was not surprised, as he’s not one of those “who think that the DP wants the reform in justice”. Meanwhile, he added that this still doesn’t mean that “the DP will not vote the reform in justice”.

However, Rama clarified that “we will not wait DP” and that “we will continue on this path” in order to vote the reform in Parliament.

Leader of opposition, Basha also admitted the failure of the meeting. Basha said that the government had planned for this meeting to fail: “Unfortunately, after more than three hours of debates, I can say that the other side came to this meeting with prepared conclusions and from what I’m told, with a prepared speech, not to seek a solution, not to offer the country a Reform in Justice, but to create an alibi as to why there cannot be a consensual reform in Justice and possibly blame the opponent”.

Basha said that “this is an old political game. Blaming the opponent is sometimes not only a reality, but also the starting point of deformed policies which have characterized the country in the past 25 years”.

According to Basha, the rules of the game in the Reform in Justice are not and cannot be those which guarantee political capturing.

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Rama’s warning that the majority will not wait any longer for the DP and that the reform in justice will pass in parliament, is seen by some as a clear warning that votes will be bought. In the 140 seat parliament, the majority doesn’t have more than 80 seats, but to pass the reform, 94 votes are needed.

If Rama focuses on collecting votes among the 140 MPs, avoiding the DP group, then this will be another season of “vote purchase” within parliament, as it happened with Bamir Topi, when six socialist MPs sold their votes, joining the DP to elect the vice chairman of DP as president in 2007.

But it is not clear how possible this is, as Basha warned in the recent hours that “any unilateral act of sending to parliament a package not agreed with the opposition, will meet a failure there”.

He also added that “every failure with the voting in Parliament of this package will lead to a postponement of the Reform in Justice”. /balkaneu.com/