From: Exit Staff
Accession Failure: Opposition Demands Early Elections, PM Rejects Responsibility

The opposition demanded Prime Minister Edi Rama to step down, and open the way for early elections, after the Albania’s failure to open accession talks with the EU. In a swift response, Rama refused any government responsibility for the lack of a positive decision by EU leaders.

Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha argued in a press conference today that for the same reason North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev decided to call early elections, while Rama refuses to take any responsibility at all.

 No [EU] conditions [were set for North Macedonia] and it had an almost unanimous support to open negotiations. However, PM Zaev offered to resign […] and took the country to early parliamentary elections.
On the other hand, out government, which was refused by the EU countries, continues to hold on power, at the expense of the Albanian people.

Basha went on to say that the Bundestag conditions and several countries’ refusal to vote in favor of Albania, while at the same time supporting North Macedonia, showed that the EU leaders’ decision was due to the Rama government’s failure.

He listed a number of issues, adding that they were not “internal issued of EU” but sheer failures of Prime Minister Edi Rama and his government: the grave economic situation in Albania, lack of opportunities in a country captured by crime, inequality before the law, high number of asylum seekers, crime and corruption, impunity of politicians and those who rigged elections, dysfunctional courts.

Basha demanded Rama’s resignation and early elections.

In his swift response, the prime minister accused the opposition for having set a political agenda aiming at blocking the opening of EU accession talks with Albania, but had ultimately failed in their objective:

They have worked very hard and did everything to make the process fail. They didn’t succeed because by getting Germany’s support we managed to pass the barrier they artificially raised in the first six months.

Rama repeated his stance that the lack of a positive decision for Albania and North Macedonia came due to the internal issues in the EU. He argued that the negative decision changed nothing for his government, which he said will continue with reforms, starting with the first three in the list of the German parliament: establishing functioning Constitutional Court and High Court, and approving the electoral reform. Rama added the opposition could choose whether they want to participate in the drafting of electoral reform or not, while firmly stating that the parliament will pass it within two months.

“As you can see, the sun has risen again, the day has begun again and our journey continues without any doubt or ambiguity,” Rama concluded.