A group of Albanians living in the diaspora are seeking a “no-confidence” vote against Prime Minister Edi Rama following comments he made in the Parliament in July, in support of the Communist regime.
During a debate with MP Adriatik Alimadhi on 30 July, Rama said:
“My father was a communist like many others; they were on the right side of history.”
He also used a range of other insults and suggested the MP was illiterate. Following the tirade, the group Defend Democracy has launched a petition to the President, Assembly, MPs, Leader of the Opposition and media to seek a no-confidence motion against Rama.
Referring to the Code of Conduct of Deputies, Article 6 states that any forms of discrimination, stereotyping, hatred, or similar are prohibited.
They said the EU has urged post-communist governments to distance themselves from the crimes of the totalitarian communist regime. In 2009, the Albanian Parliament and the Democratic Party adopted a resolution on punishing crimes committed by the communist regime.
It was passed without the support of the Socialist Party who are in fact the direct descendants of the Communist Party which did not disband after the fall of the regime.
Article 2 of the resolution states:
“The totalitarian communist regime was characterized by massive human rights violations, individual and collective killings and executions, with and without trial, deaths in concentration camps, starvation deaths, torture, deportation, slave labor, physical and psychological terror, genocide by origin political or inheritance of property, as well as violations of freedom of conscience, thought, expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom of political pluralism.”
Defend Democracy have raised concerns that Rama’s comment regarding communists being “on the right side of history” is in support of these violations. They have started an online petition in favour of their cause.
The group has protested regularly in Austria over issues in Albania such as the media law and the demolition of the National Theatre. Speaking to Exit, one of the organisers said:
“We are living in exile…we are very worried about the regression of Albanian democracy. This regressive development is shown with the demolition of the National Theatre and Edi Rama’s speech in his function as Prime Minister.”
They added that under the rules of the Assembly and laws relating to the punishment of crimes committed under Communism, Rama’s speech should not be exempt, just because he is Prime Minister.
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