IBNA Special Report
Tirana, April 3, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
Opposition coalition in Albania is being significantly shrinking, because several political forces which have been part of it, are moving to the left wing. Republicans left the historical left wing coalition which was stable for 25 years. Meanwhile, the Tchams, joined the SP of PM Edi Rama, by removing four MPs to the opposition. Other small parties have also acted in the same way.
In 2013, when Berisha led the government and DP, he decided to award all small parties, by including their leaders in the DP lists, ranked in winning positions. This way, several party leaders, who could not even dream of an MP seat, were awarded this thanks to the coalition.
When Berisha included these names on the DP lists, many people inside of his party called this unacceptable and undeserved.
It seems that they were proven right today.
A known businessman from Durres, Agron Duka, was the reason for the conflict between republicans and democrats. The Republican Party wanted Duka, a former socialist minister, who then moved to the right wing, to be run for the municipality of Durres. Up until a few days ago, the DP was in favor of this idea. Suddenly, it changed its positioning and the Democratic Party decided to run its own candidate.
This served as a motive to leave the coalition. General Secretary, Arian Madhi, says that the RP will have its candidates in 61 municipalities of the country. Meanwhile, he said that the republicans are ready for new alliances.
Media are speculating that the RP may even accept to go left.
Tchams change coalition
A little before the decision of the Republicans, Party for Justice, Integration and Unity (PJIU), known as the Tcham party, also left the DP coalition. This party joined the left wing coalition, becoming not only part of the joint candidates with the SP in the local government elections, but also part of the central governance.
The head of the Tcham party, former head of Taxation Directorate in Berisha’s government, signed the agreement with the socialist leader, Edi Rama, securing PJIU candidates in at least 5 municipalities, mainly in the south of the country.
NDSP of former President comes closer to the left wing
New Democratic Spirit Party (NDSP) is a fraction of DP created a few years ago. It is chaired by the former president Bamir Topi. These days, Topi was publicly invited by the leader of SP, Edi Rama to become part of the left wing coalition. This invitation was refused once by Topi two years ago, but this time, the invitation was accepted.
Bamir Topi announced today that he has accepted the invitation made by PM Rama to engage in negotiations, in the framework of cooperation for the elections of June 21 local government elections. He said that NDSP aims at having a significant number of municipality councilors, but it’s also aiming to have the Electoral Code changes. Meanwhile, he accused the DP of being hostile toward this party.
“We’re aiming of having a significant number of municipality councilors, to be closer to the citizens and their problems. The right wing coalition has been hostile against NDSP, while all members of NDSP have positively responded to the invitation of the SP”, says Bamir Topi.
The opposition will announce its candidates after April 6
The opposition coalition gathered to talk about a joint running in the local elections. In a joint statement released after the meeting, they said that based on the proportionality of each party, the coalition will come out with joint candidates for the June 21, 2015 local government elections, with the aim of winning these elections. Sources from the opposition told IBNA that the Democratic Party will sign bilateral agreements with every subject of the coalition.
In the last parliamentary elections, Coalition “Alliance for a European Albania” won 83 seats in the 140 seat parliament. The Socialist Party has 65 seats, Socialist Movement for Integration has 16 seats, Unity for Human Rights Party and Christian Democrat Party of Albania have one seat each.
Coalition “Alliance for Employment, Welfare and Integration” has 57 seats, where 50 seats belong to the DP, 3 belong to the RP and 4 to PJIU. But, with the departure of the RP and PJIU, the DP remained with 50 seats. What’s more is that the DP has even fewer numbers in Parliament, because some MPs moved to the SP and SMI, while some others became independent. /ibna/