By Mero Baze
US Ambassador Yuri Kim has openly expressed her concern regarding rumours of a secret agreement between the main political stakeholders against the justice reform.
Her tweets were preceded by a meeting that President Meta held with opposition parties, where all participant paid particular attention to a new proposal regarding a forum called ‘Political Council’ whose powers would exceed those of Parliament in matters related to electoral and justice reform.
Ilir Meta’s proposal clearly seems to condition the approval of the justice reform from the opposition with certain concessions on the justice reform that the government should allow. In a bizarre fashion, President Meta is trying for the second time after 2019, to exchange the participation in elections with concessions on the justice reform.
In 2019 however, he took it to the extreme end by dragging the opposition out of Parliament and out of local elections. He seems to be repeating the same blackmailing tactics again. The only difference is that this time he is not using Parliament but this new Political Council, a forum of political parties that he proposes to obtain legislative competences, just for the sake of him being able to subdue the justice reform.
The US Ambassador’s voiced concerns are in fact a call for PM Edi Rama not to be blackmailed into political bargains for the justice reform.
The exploitation of political conflicts to postpone the justice reform, with the ultimate aim of the latter being used as a bargaining tool are clear to everyone’s eyes.
Ilir Meta is trying to take over the course of the opposition political actions in order to bargain with US and EU officials the desired changes in the reform. In exchange, he would guarantee the participation of the opposition in the next elections.
It is still not clear as to how far the DP leader Lulzim Basha is willing to follow this blackmailing pattern that Meta is waging against Western diplomats. Today, he showed no evidence to the contrary.
When one party leader had the audacity to ask Meta on his opinion on the Danish electoral model, proposed by US Ambassador Yuri Kim, Meta provided a sarcastic answer by stating that: “Yeah so what, there was also someone who proposed me the Bulgarian electoral model”
His ultimate challenge is how to use the political mandate that the opposition has in the electoral reform as a bargaining tool to amend and subdue the justice reform to his likings. To be fair, it is quite a big challenge, which I do not think he will succeed and if someone is willing to follow him, they will just repeat the same story of 2019.