Redi Shehu - Albania
Albania on June 25, 2017 passed an election process that was postponed from the 18 June constitutional date due to the political crisis that broke out at the end of February when the Democratic Party erected an umbrella in front of the Prime Minister's building requesting the resignation of current Prime Minister Edi Rama.
It also called for the formation of a technical government that would administer the electoral process and fight cannabis, corruption, nepotism and organized crime, which, according to the opposition, constituted the main threat to the organization of free and fair elections in Albania.
The 18th May political agreement between the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party led the political crisis to come to an end and the parties to turn to the electorate for the electoral campaign with a view to maximizing electoral results for each party.
What should be pointed out throughout the quarterly political crisis is that due to the high political climate and because the Democratic Party burned all the constitutional deadlines for electoral registration and coalition registration, the Albanian political parties that participated in these Elections are competing for each of them, precisely because of the expiration of the constitutional deadline for the coalition enrollment.
This is an important political moment for these elections because, according to Albanian electoral law, parties that are not part of political coalitions must provide roughly double the number of voters to issue a deputy. So practically, and especially for small parties, this means halving the capacity of the chairs in the new parliament coming out of the June 25th elections.
Despite this, the Socialist Party assured a historic and persuasive victory with 74 seats in the Parliament versus the 65 seats in the past elections. While the Democratic Party together with its allies, already included within the PD list, suffered a historic loss by providing 43 seats versus the 57 seats in the past elections and with an abstention of their electorate up to 200,000 voters who Boycotted him.
Meanwhile, the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) suffered an increase of 3 MPs compared to the last elections from 16 to 19 seats in Parliament. The Justice and Integration Party (PDIU), however, managed to secure only 3 seats in parliament versus 4 of its past elections, penalized precisely by not enrolling in a coalition with major parties that would have given it more Places in the parlamnet.
The surprise of these elections was the Social Democratic Party (PSD), which even though outside the coalitions you won 1 seat in the new Albanian parliament.
Unlike the Socialist Party, the Democratic Party introduced its candidate lists for MPs, the chairman of its small allied parties.
Thus, part of its lists became the head of the Republican Party, the Environmentalist Party, the Christian Democrat, and the head of the Greek minority party in Albania PBDNJ.
Here it is worthwhile to stop because the Greek minority in Albania in these elections was also represented by the MEGA Party, which was listed on the left wing with the Socialist Party.
It is worth mentioning that the leader of the UHRP, Vangjel Dule, until the last moments of counting, did not pass the threshold of the deputy. This indicates a weakened and abandoned vote of the Greek minority against its party, which for more than two decades has been the defender or even the political face of Greek interests in Albania.
Reasons may be many, but the fact is that during the ruling of the Socialist Party and Prime Minister Edi Rama, a series of reforms and steps taken by the latter have caused little dissatisfaction among the PBDNJ, which allied with the SP passed on Democratic Party.
Here we can mention mainly the new reform of the territorial division made by the government Rama, which was also regarded as patriotic, due to the new administrative divisions in 12 regions and areas of the Greek minority included within the major Albanian circles, removing Once again the territorial claims or the provocations often made by the exponents of Greek politics in Albanian territories.
Another reason is that the Rama government for the first time raised the Cham issue at the level of political alliances and international level of awareness until the adoption of a resolution by the European Parliament on the Cham issue.
All of these steps triggered a political revolt in Athens, which did not hesitate to express himself openly for the collapse of Rama's government.
But what does the result of the June 25th elections mean for Albania and Albanians?
Are the new political configurations a message for a follow-up policy pursued so far or are the message for change?
Looking at the historic victory of the Socialist Party, which alone managed to get 74 deputies from 140 of the Albanian Parliament, the result that even at the best time in 2001 the SP had not captured it alone, and with a growth of 9 MPs Compared to previous elections, the simple logical conclusion leads to the conviction that this result is a powerful vote for pursuing the policies and reforms that the left have applied in Albania over the last four years.
It should be emphasized that in the geopolitical plan, the Socialist Party and its leader, Prime Minister Rama, have pursued a policy largely focused on protecting the national interest in relation to the European Union and relations with the Balkan countries.
The realization of the last elections with admirable standards makes it almost factual to open negotiations for Albania's accession to the European Union, as the latter has decided as the ultimate condition after the reform of justice, the realization of these elections within the standards.
Albanians voted for the SP based on a sense of reform undertaken by the latter, starting with the territorial, health, education and most importantly, justice reform which is expected to change all the way of action and access to the system Of Albanian justice in relation to crime and political corruption.
While in regional affairs, Prime Minister Rama in 2013 immediately before and after these elections announced the strategic partnership with the Republic of Turkey and President Erdogan. Throughout this four-year left-wing government in Albania, though conditioned by a delicate alliance with the SMI, the economic-political and military partnership between Albania and Turkey has continued to be at good levels.
With the victory as the only one of these last elections, the Rama second government is expected to raise more the level of relations between Turkey and Albania, the fact stated in the interview that President Erdogan delivered a few days before the elections for the Albanian public on Top Channel, In which he said: "We are determined to give every kind of support to Albania whenever it needs, because we think that Albania is an important country in the Balkans. It is the source of solidarity.
Regarding the preservation of stability, I think that Albania plays an essential role. Balkan stability is very important, to a country that has this significant role in the Balkans. The territorial integrity of the Balkan states must be respected once and for all.
" Then a message of: "I want to congratulate my beloved friend, Prime Minister Edi Rama in his efforts" as for demonstrating the readiness to implement a strategic partnership between the two countries at an even higher level.
Perhaps it is precisely this support or even the announcement of Turkey as a strategic partner that has made relations between Albania and Greece under the Rama government to recognize the lowest political interaction points, often followed by statements hastened by Greek Foreign Minister Mr. Kocias.
In Albania's reports with Macedonia and Kosovo over the last four years, an emphasis has been placed on the protection of Albanian national interest and Albanians in Macedonia.
Meetings between Prime Minister Edi Rama and former Deputy Prime Minister Vucic, where the Kosovo issue has been the essence of the clash between them or even the organization of the Albanian parties in Macedonia in an agreement that resulted positive in the defense of the Albanian interest there as well as many other moves were strong points in relation to the expectations of the electorate, who even after 4 years of political consumption, gave a convincing vote of confidence to the Socialist Party to continue on the path of reforms and regional partnerships for the benefit of Albania and Albanians.
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