Will there be a technical, caretaker government in Albania? This is the question, which arose on February 18, as soon as Democratic Party protests started on the boulevard, which not yet been answered. Some opposite opinions have arrived from important international players, regarding Albania’s current political situation.
Deputy Chairman of the CDU-CSU group in the German parliament, Franz Josef Jung, has sent a personal letter to Democratic Party leader, Lulzim Basha, in which he expressed his concern regarding June 18 elections that may be forged, as a result of vote buying. However, he also considers it wrong to attempt to resolve this issue through a parliament boycotts/refusing to register in parliamentary elections. In his letter, Jung stated that the delay of judicial reform and an election boycott by the opposition could leave Albania far behind on its path towards the EU and that such a decision would harm the relationship between parties.
The same stance against election boycott is held by the Ambassador of the OSCE / ODIHR in Albania, Bernd Borchardt, who stated that threats for an election boycott undermine the country’s future. According to Borchardt, the way forward is dialogue regarding changes to the Electoral Code and not such threats. During an interview to “Daily news” newspaper, the Ambassador maintained that, “Threats to disrupt the orderly democratic process would be very irresponsible; there are no Albanians wanting the country to move backwards after 20 years. Call for violence is not the solution”.
Borchardt added that OSCE / ODIHR are ready to send a competent mission to observe the coming elections. “If the political parties want the elections to be based on a better electoral law, then they need to find consensus on improvements. We have driven them to do so for more than a year now. We have made a lot of recommendations for improvements”.
Likewise, a few days ago on Top Channel TV, one of the main TV channels in Albania, a statement made by the US Embassy stressed that the U.S. do not support the DP rally. Asked by TV Klan regarding this statement, the leader of DP, Lulzim Basha, who just returned from a visit to the U.S., said that has received full support from the American government for electing a technical government in Albania: “I do not comment on media that are under government pressure. My position is clear. I stick to my words, regarding the message I got from Washington. I shared this message with the protesters in the boulevard tent. Those who add or subtract words from this message, do it for their own purposes. I am not dealing with comments. No media can interfere in what I have said.”
The call to return to parliament has also come from a reporter for Albania at the European Parliament, Knut Fleckenstein. In an interview for “Tema” newspaper, he stated: “During my last visit to Tirana, I heard the opposition’s call for a technical government. I do not understand how this proposal will contribute to improving Albania’s political, economic and social situation”.
This situation has also caused the blocking of Vetting process. If the verification process is blocked and the implementation of justice reform does not start, the European Union will not be able to start accession negotiations with Albania, to become a member of EU”, adds Fleckenstein.