Albanian Opposition Decides to Vacate All Its Seats in Parliament

All 65 members of parliament of the seven opposition parties in Albania decided to resign today. The process of resignations is expected to start on Thursday.

Albania’s parliament is composed of 140 seats, 74 of which are held by Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist Party (PS) MPs, and one seat by a PS ally.

The largest opposition party, Democratic Party (PD), reached a unanimous decision earlier today for all its MPs to resign from their mandates. Head of PD Lulzim Basha called on other opposition parties to join his party’s decision.

Head of Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) Monika Kryemadhi announced her party’s same unanimous decision this afternoon, following a meeting of LSI’s parliamentary group.

Leaders of five other parties also met with Lulzim Basha, resulting in a unified decision of the “united opposition” to resign from all MP mandates, demand a transitional government and free and fair elections.

The decision comes one day after Basha informed that he would ask his party MPs to resign from their mandates.

Basha said that opposition’s decision is based on the will of people who protested against the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama on Saturday. The buying of votes in the 2017 elections by the Socialist Party (PS) in collusion with criminal gangs, rampant corruption, government capture of the judiciary system, lack of a functioning Constitutional Court, and violation of human rights were the main reasons pushing the opposition MPs to resign.

The Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama will still have the majority in the 140-seat parliament.

The resignation en masse from mandates is unprecedented in Albania. The Electoral Code seems to be unclear regarding the process of replacement for the MP mandates.