Ever since Lëvizja Vetëvendosja (LVV) won the last elections in Kosovo and is developing its presence in Albania, its actions have been closely watched by the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama, which sees in the new movement a potential threat to its political hegemony.
This week, LVV announced that it would organize a “March for Unification” on November 28, Independence Day:
Prime Minister Edi Rama attacked the march, calling it an “aberration,” while also belittling Prime Minister-Elect Albin Kurti:
Imagine for a moment that a branch of the PS, of course with the approval of the Board and me, would do a protest on the independence day of Kosovo saying that it’s not time to celebrate but to reflect, and to make a flyer looking as if its put out by the printers of the Kosovo opposition. What would people think?
I consider it an aberration in a transition process from opposition to government, in a vacuum, where I’ve been s well. You need some time to become prime minister. Because you’re elected prime minister when you begin, but you become one with the passing of time.
The systematic violence today took the form of the direct violence at Astir. Corruption, scandals, irregularities and double standards have characterized the entire proces of the “New Ring Road” project. The rule of law is not built through arbitrary power with structural and direct violence against citizens. The property issues in the Astir zone should be solved using a rightful and equal standard for all citizens.
This time, it was Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj who hit back, calling the statement a “serious degeneration” of LVV, trying to force a wedge between the local branch and LVV in Kosovo:
The Municipality of Tirana deeply regrets the serious degradition of the Tirana branch of Lëvizja Vetëvendosja, which today intervened in the internal affairs for a local, but essential project for the capital of all Albanians. […] The Municipality of Tirana considers the declaration of LVV as non-sensical, malicious, and hurried. […]
LVV in Kosovo, after the non-sensical declaration that it made today, will be able to reflect and show maturity as regards its branches, which it seems unfortunately have gone out of control. On the contrary, it makes no sense that the leaders of LVV frequently visit Tirana to gain experience, while their local branch sabotages and degrades this years-long harmonious relation between the City of Tirana and LVV Kosovo!
In response, LVV Albania board member Enis Sulstarova stated that LVV Albania is a local organization run by Albanian members, most of which live in Tirana and are concerned about their city. He also pointed out that Prime Minister Rama consistently ignores Kosovo in his discussions with Serbia about the Balkan “mini-Schengen” initiative:
Municipal councillors complain that LVV “intervened in internal affairs of the city.” This expression is unacceptable, to complain because citizens express their concern about the issues of their city. […] We think we are in our rights when we talk about the issues of Tirana, like anyone who wants the best for the capital. But we seriously have to ask the question whether it is really the right of the leader of the party leading the municipality of Tirana, to agree with Vučić about “regional agreements” in the name of Kosovo?
This won’t pass. They tell us that an Albanian has no right to speak about Tirana, while the same ones invite the Serbs to talk about Kosovo, without Kosovo.