Albania Holds Communist Style Elections
For young Albanians, the current political situation seems unbelievable, for the older generations it brings back memories of Communism.
A battle over Albania’s next elections culminates June 30 as Prime Minister Edi Rama has insisted votes will be held Sunday despite Albanian President Ilir Meta previously declaring them postponed until October 13.
But Sunday will be a day of voting and not elections because in 30 out of 61 municipalities across the country people have the choice of only one candidate. In the rest of the municipalities, the opposition candidates belong to a newly registered party that has no followers and just serves to play its part in this charade of a democratic election.
Albanians feel more ashamed than ever in this unimaginable scenario created by Prime Minister Edi Rama. This Communist style of voting brings back memories of the cruel Communist regime of Enver Hoxha and his 45-year dictatorship.
Albania is a N.A.T.O. member, yet it is not a practicing democracy. It aspires to join the E.U., yet is not moving forward but bringing back the memories of a dark past.
The foreign embassies and delegations in Tirana are saying nothing about this fiasco. Instead, they act with the same negligence as they did during the six years of Rama’s government that allowed the widespread cultivation of cannabis across the entire Albanian territory. This negligence made Albania to become known as the Colombia of Europe and now it may prove dire to the Albanian people and the country’s E.U. integration process.
The socialist party which governs the country has been almost the sole party participating in the June 30th elections, as opposition boycott the local elections on Sunday. As explained by VOA, the center-right Democratic Party-led opposition of Lulzim Basha has been holding protests since mid-February over allegations of vote-rigging and government links to organized crime, and has asked for an early national election.
For young Albanians, the current political situation seems unbelievable, for the older generations it brings back memories of Communism. The Slovenia-based think tank, the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES), called Rama the “Albanian Milosevic” and warned holding free and fair elections on June 30 is impossible, also warning that Rama was leading the country into a “civil clash.”
Many attempts were made for the involved political parties to sit and hold a dialogue, but Rama not only refused discussions but continued to provoke the opposition with conflicting rhetoric and insults.
President Meta had annulled, via a presidential decree, the June 30 elections in order to allow a dialogue between the conflicting sides but Rama became determined than ever to enter the elections alone and with only a single candidate in half of the voting municipalities.
In an era of globalization, free-thinking and modern philosophies, dictators like Edi Rama still exist. Rama has brought division in Albania, created instability in the Balkan region and even caused problems and damaging the image of the entire European continent.
Watch out world, a new Kim Jong-un is emerging in Europe, his name is Edi Rama.