The Platform of European Memory and Conscience has asked Socialist MP candidate Luljeta Bozo to apologize and withdraw from running in elections over her comments praising communism in Albania.
“If one puts them on a scale, communism had more positives than negatives,” Bozo told a journalist on live television this month, about five weeks ahead of general elections in Albania.
In a press statement published on Wednesday, they expressed “deep concern” regarding Bozo’s comments “who said that Communism was a “constitutional dictatorship” and that it “developed Albania”, and that the Communist dictator Enver Hoxha had “more positives than negatives”.
“What concerns us even more is that the Socialist Party did not distance itself from the words of its candidate,” the Platform stressed.
They condemned Bozo’s historical negationism that “dishonors the memory of the thousands of victims and stands contrary to basic democratic values such as truth and justice.”
The Platform said they firmly stands by the position of the European Parliament, expressed in the resolution of 19 September 2019 on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe, in which the Parliament “condemns all manifestations and propagation of totalitarian ideologies” and “expresses its deep respect for each victim of these totalitarian regimes and calls on all EU institutions and actors to do their utmost to ensure that horrific totalitarian crimes against humanity and systemic gross human rights violations are remembered and brought before courts of law”.
Albanian diaspora also asked for Bozo’s apology and resignation, also calling for the support of the European Union in pressing Albanian politicians to stop whitewashing communism.
Bozo’s statement was also supported on live television a few days later by MP Damian Gjiknuri, one of the closest associates of party leader, Prime Minister Edi Rama.
“The [communist] regime had its own good and bad sides[…] It was better for the public sphere but not good for the private,” Gjiknuri said when asked on whether he supported Bozo’s claim that the communist regime brought more advantages than disadvantages to Albania.
Gjiknuri’s statement was not picked up by the media.