Two videos, one opposition strategy

Two videos, one opposition strategy

IBNA Special Report/ “Countdown for the government has started”, says leader of Albanian opposition

Tirana, March 9, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

In Albania, the leader of the Albanian opposition, is trying to do what his predecessor did four years ago: To use a video and the discontent that exists among the population in order to start a wave of protests with the aim of overthrowing power.

Lulzim Basha, head of the Democratic Party, the political force that leads the coalition opposition, has warned a national protest in the center of Tirana.

Mr. Basha says that “countdown has started for Rama and Meta, because on Thursday, Albanians will unite against crime in governance”.

In a public address, Mr. Basha said that there are many reasons why this protest must be held, but above all, he said, because Albanians can no longer accept to be “governed by crime”.

According to Mr. Basha, there are many factors that force people to come out on protest and the first reason relates to the video that denounced a plan to murder MPs.

“Albania and Albanians are suffering a big crisis. People and threatened and are in danger from the lack of security. Unemployment is growing, along with prices and unaffordable bills. The arrogance of the government is growing every day”, says Mr. Basha, ranking many other factors, which according to him, encourage the people to seek a new political solution.

“There’s no more time, because evil has no intention on stopping. The evil coming from the oligarchy in power is spreading everywhere and is affecting every household in Albania. Edi Rama and Ilir Meta have no intention on stopping on their own”, Basha said.

“Countdown has started. On Thursday, March 12, Albanians will stop evil. Hour of justice is coming near”, says opposition leader.

The video that provoked the protest

At the start of 2011, a video came out on public suggesting a corruption affair between the deputy PM of the right wing majority, Ilir Meta, current speaker of parliament in the left wing majority and minister of Economy, Dritan Prifti. The video suggested that Meta would benefit 700 thousand Euros through a corruption affair.

The video was never accepted by Meta, who considered it a montage. But the opposition which was then led by Edi Rama, tried to exploit that video as much as possible.

Different accusations were launched in public against Meta. Under this atmosphere, Meta resigned.

The opposition continued to exploit the video and announced a demonstration on January 21, 2011. Several tens of thousands people from the entire country gathered on the square. The head of opposition followed this protest from a distance. Since the start of the rally, several people confronted with police. The situation then escalated with the killing of four citizens and the wounding of 100 police officers.

The opposition accused the government that the killings were committed by the Republican Guard. An inquest was launched over the event and several people were charged, however, it’s not yet clear who the authors of the murder are.

The demonstration did not lead to the overthrowing of the government or early elections.

A protest for the second video

The same as in 2011, even now, the opposition is following the same strategy: The exploitation of a video and a protest to express discontent. In both cases, Ilir Meta has been at the center of the video.

But to what extent will this video work?

In 2011, Rama’s left wing accused Meta not only for corruption, but also of being responsible for the consequences of the protest that led to four deaths.

Now, Meta is accused by an MP within the left of planning and paying 600 thousand Euros in order to kill him and the democrat MP, Mhill Fufi.

Tom Doshi MP, who is also a rich entrepreneur, published a video where the repented contract killer was talking. Even after this video, Meta said that it was a montage which according to him, must not be accepted as a proof by the prosecution. In this situation, the right wing opposition believes that it will get somewhere.

Mr. Basha says: “While bomb attempts have intimidated every family, Edi Rama and Ilir Meta result to be involved in murder scenarios, based on the accusations coming from within their ranks. Therefore, on Thursday, March 12, we will show Edi Rama and Ilir Meta what it means to be a traitor of the people, to abandon the citizens, to impoverish them and to become the head of the crime that terrorizes Albanians. Albanians will stop evil. The hour of justice is coming near”.

Prof. Dr. Kastriot Islami, former speaker of Parliament and left wing MP for many years, has abandoned the latter three years ago. He approached today’s opposition by accusing Rama for chairing the SP like a dictator.

In relation to the “Doshi” video scandal, Mr. Islami says that the government is putting pressure on the prosecution, in order to impose the government scenario.

“The highest leaders of the state, Rama, Meta and Tahiri and the media that they control, put pressure on the Prosecution, in order to impose their scenario. This is a serious violation of the laws in power, but also a serious provocation for the public”, Islami says.

According to him, the government has three scenarios:

The first one, make Doshi look as a person who is suffering from the paranoia of murder, in order to conclude that there has been no murder plan for the two MPs.

The second scenario is to blame the opposition for orchestrating the murder plan.

According to the third scenario that Islami foresees, given that Doshi was expelled in the recent days, he belongs to the opposition and it will look as if he is being protected by the opposition.

For Mr. Islami, all three of these scenarios are failed scenarios.

He suggests that what’s happening in the prosecution, must become public. “The public must be made aware of the questions and the answers during the interrogation of Rama, Meta and Tahiri”.

Islami has another request: “Being the main suspect, based on all constitutional principles, Meta is assumed innocent until proven guilty, but he must be put before justice without stripped of his offices, because he may have an impact in the activity of the prosecution”.

Islami’s request is also stressed by former PM Berisha.

Meta’s answer is resolute: “I will not resign”.

Prosecution is investigating

In order to find out if there has been a plan by Ilir Meta to kill the two MPs, the Prosecution of Serious Crimes has launched an intensive inquest. For the first time ever, prosecution has subpoenaed prominent names of politics, such as speaker of Parliament, Ilir Meta, PM Edi Rama, former PM Sali Berisha, Interior minister, Saimir Tahiri and three MPs: Tom Doshi who denounced the alleged plan, Mhill Fufi who is suggested to have been targeted to be murdered and Mark Frroku, who according to Doshi, was the first one to learn of this plan.

The results of the inquest are not yet known, but one thing is sure, the perception of the people is high as far as skepticism is concerned. Very few people will believe that this video will be considered genuine. According to them, the government will result to be a winner, as it was the case with the government in 2011. /ibna/