Today Lulzim Basha owes an apology to the supporters of the Democratic Party

By Mero Baze

On this day two years ago, Lulzim Basha took the most tragic decision in the history of Albania’s political opposition by renouncing their political mandates. Soon after, they were followed by the Socialist Movement for Integration. The extreme decision aimed to spark a revolutionary spirit that was later followed by the boycott of the local elections. The political decisions sparked three months of violent protests with attacks against the Parliament building as well as the Prime Minister’s office. At the end, however everything failed. The opposition was left out of Parliament, while its seats were taken by some of its former members, who refused to follow their leader’s order. The government on the other hand ran alone in the local elections, easily winning all 61 municipalities.

Two years later, things appear even more tragic. Thanks to the opposition’s parliamentary boycott, Prime Minister Edi Rama was able to change the country’s electoral code. He removed the multiple lists, which were a trick from the time of Sali Berisha, that allowed the Democratic Party to appear more important thanks to its allies. Now, because of this madness, the opposition does not have any representatives in all 61 municipalities, except Voltana Ademi in Shkodra. For the last two years, the opposition has been absent from Albania’s political administration. Furthermore, the Democratic Party needs to gather enough signatures to compete in the upcoming elections as a non-parliamentary party.

Lulzim Basha on the other hand claims now that the opposition’s gravest loss is actually a success story. His fear of running in elections as well as his desire to bargain under the table for political favours prior to the election day are the reason that the opposition is now outside all political spheres and has next no chances of winning in the April elections.

Ilir Meta and Sali Berisha, who at first supported Mr. Basha in his boycott are now acting as two lunatics, threatening of civil war and bloodshed since they are convinced that they cannot win in elections. Two years ago, Lulzim Basha renounced his party’s mandates and boycotted local elections claiming that he would never compete in any elections as long as Edi Rama was Prime Minister. After his failure, he accepted dialogue with government regarding changes of the electoral code. The result is that he is not only going to run in elections with Rama as a Prime Minister, but is already willing to accept the latter’s conditions.

All this would be more than enough to force Lulzim Basha to apologize to the Democratic Party’s supporters for having committed the gravest mistake in his political history and that, it would cost him the next parliamentary elections, he would resign as leader as well as member of the Democratic Party. Nothing worse has happened to this party despite its many opponents in the course of its history. Lulzim Basha was the only one who took Albania’s first pluralist party out of all political institutions and placed it on the streets.

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