Two “Unknown” LSI Council Members Help Veliaj to a Majority

Yesterday evening, two Municipal Council members of the LSI helped Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj to a minimal majority of 31 votes to pass his controversial proposal to raise the water price in Tirana. Both Agim Kraja and Genta Mezini voted in favor of Mayor Veliaj’s proposal, passing the measure together with the votes of the PS.

In a telephonic response to Balkanweb, deputy chairman of the LSI Luan Rama claimed that Kraja and Mezini did not belong to the LSI, and that he didn’t know the people who had voted in name of his party.

The vote, which was held while several dozens of citizens protested outside, shows that Mayor Veliaj has been able to buy off two votes from the “opposition,” thus securing his rule for the next two years until the municipal elections in 2019.

According to a statement of the environmentalist group “Citizens for the Park,” the decision of the Municipal Council is invalid, because it included the votes of 6 new council members who had not yet been installed:

Meanwhile the meeting of today was invalid because according to art. 27 and 25 of the Law on Local Government and art. 8 of the Regulations of the Municipal Council, new council members cannot vote in favor of  their own mandates. Today there have been 31 council members, 6 of which received their mandates today. For these 6 to be valid, they should have been voted by the majority of old council members, only 25 of which were present. As a result, the vote is invalid. We will also pursue this legally  by calling upon the prefect not to approve of this because there will be consequences.