Post Election, Albania Enters A New Political Stage
June 30, 2017, Written by Irena Shabani
Changes In The Fragile Governing Equilibrium
Kozeta Cika contributed to this article
Image by Bes-ART
After the 25 June elections, Albania is entering a new political stage, with non-coalition governance.
In the previous eight years, the Democratic Party, in coalition with the Socialist Movement for Integration, has been in power from 2009-2013, while the Socialist Party was again in coalition with SMI, which gave them a hand to govern from 2013-2017.
SMI’s role in the past eight years has been seen as a governing party that extended its power to some important ministries. Some years ago, its chairman, Ilir Meta, had been secretely recorded in a corrupted affair of 700,000 euros, but later claimed innocent from such a charge by the Albanian Court. SMI became the Party of the youth, who saw it as a catapult to gaining a job and money in the state administration.
After these elections, there have been some profound changes in the fragile equilibrium of Albanian political parties:
The DP Leader Lulzim Basha, accepted the defeat but did not resign; he paved the way for a new DP chairman, where he will also run himself. For the moment, he has frozen his status until 22 July, when the new DP chairman will be elected. In the meantime, another early DP member Eduard Selami, who has lived in the USA after the 1997 events, is standing in the chairman election; other candidates should be enrolled by July 2. What is highlighted during this period is the fact that old DP members charge Basha with selling the election to the leftists.
The surprise came from the SMI Party. Its chairman, Petrit Vasili, who was elected in this post only a few months ago, after its leader Ilir Meta was appointed President of the Republic of Albania, the post he will receive on July 24, resigned from his duty on June 29. He proposed Monika Kryemadhi, Ilir Meta’s wife, to lead SMI from now on. Vasili explained this by hinting at the fact that Monika’s will and energy would push SMI forward.
In the socialist camp, the winning enthusiasm did not last long, as they are working for the new government now.
Meanwhile, although DP and SMI claimed there had been many cases of selling votes in favour of SP, German MEP Knut Fleckenstein, praised the development of elections in Albania and will consider opening the way for Albania’s EU membership negotiations. He expects Rama knows how to use total power now that he is leading single-handedly, hence the answer to Deutsche Welle’s interview, where he stated that vote selling should be considered carefully, because this would mean honouring the nation.
Many analysts and politicians see the low participation in the elections as a result of the boycott that Democrats pushed, which explains the low number of Democrats in the polls. On the DP building wall, you can notice a slogan written in big letters: “Basha go!”
Edi Rama, through a long fb post, thanked his supporters, critics and opponents, calling the 25 June election a victory, not only for him, but for all Albanians. It is his responsibility and burden for the four coming years to lead the country to further reforms towards EU.