USA expresses its concern about MPs with criminal records in Albania

USA expresses its concern about MPs with criminal records in Albania

Tirana, March 10, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

United States of America are concerned about the presence of MPs with criminal records in the parliament of Albania. This  is confirmed by the speaker of Albanian parliament, Ilir Meta.

He says that the US Embassy to Tirana has recently expressed its concerns.

According to him, the US Embassy has sent information according to which, there are members of the Albanian parliament which have had problems with the law or who are suspected of having problems with the law.

Meta doesn’t deny that parliament has been given concrete names by the embassy, but says that he cannot comment any more “especially when it comes to an embassy such as the US embassy”.

However, Mr. Meta admits that parliament has serious problems in its representation. “I believe that this parliament must move forward in the process of decriminalization”.

Yesterday, the US embassy to Tirana, cancelled a meeting with the friendship group Albania-USA.

The cancellation was made as a result of the fact that according to the US embassy, the group had several people who for the US embassy are considered to be unacceptable due to their problems with the law.

The speaker of parliament doesn’t deny that this activity was cancelled due to the participation of MPs who have problems with the law. Meanwhile, he stresses the appeal coming from the US diplomacy.

“USA have made it clear  to all political parties unite on the process of decriminalization or the increase of the standard of representation in parliament, where we’re hoping for legal measures to be taken. In other words, to offer legal guarantees in order to avoid such cases. But at the same time, in the future, political forces must not accept people that have problems with the law.”

But why is Albanian politics attracted to such individuals? Why do such individuals have a growing presence in the politics of the country? This is a phenomenon which was not present 8 or 10 years ago, but which is now expanding.

The speaker of Parliament admits the situation and says that the electoral system may also be a problem. “It’s been a while that we have problematic elements, who only know the language of pressure, blackmail and undeserved favors, by using the mandate of MP. Another problem relates to the political system in the country, the electoral system. Perhaps, a pure proportional system would contribute more for the solution of this issue, in order for political parties to be more responsible and be driven toward people who have a higher integrity and not just by the circumstances as to who loses or who wins in this or that constituency, regardless of the political or intellectual quality”.

The debate for the decriminalization of Parliament was suggested by the opposition and in the recent days, it has been intensified. Socialist MP, Tom Doshi denounced a plan for his murder and the murder of the opposition MP, Mhill Fufi, ordered, according to him, by the speaker of Parliament, Ilir Meta, who denies this accusation.

The Socialist Party expelled Doshi from its group. The US embassy to Tirana reacted by saying that “the United States welcomes the decision of the Socialist Party of Albania to expel Mr. Tom Doshi, who is alleged to be involved in criminal activities”.

“The United States takes seriously the threat of crime and corruption to free and democratic societies. We encourage all political parties in Albania to remove individuals involved in criminal or corrupt activities.  We strongly support the work of the Parliament to develop legislation in accordance with the Resolution of December 24, 2014.  Furthermore, we call upon the Prosecutor General of Albania to investigate and prosecute criminals and corrupt officials at all levels”, was the strong declaration issued by the US Embassy. /ibna/