Thousands of members of the Democratic Party (PD) are expected to join former PD leader Sali Berisha in Tirana today for a National Assembly that seeks to oust current party chairman Lulzim Basha.
Members are expected to vote on an amendment to party statutes that will require party leaders who lose national elections to immediately resign from the post.
Basha was reelected leader of the PD with an overwhelming majority of the votes in July, after losing the April 2021 national elections to Edi Rama’s Socialist Party for the third time in a row.
The 31st anniversary of its founding finds the PD divided. In September, Basha excluded Berisha from the PD’s parliamentary group after this letter was designated by the US Department of State for corruption.
Berisha retaliated by going on a national tour to rally his supporters, and then called a meeting of the National Assembly, the party’s highest body, for December 11.
Basha and current PD leadership consider the meeting called by Berisha illegal and against party statutes.
He has called for another meeting of the National Assembly for December 18, where the nearly 7,600 assembly members will be invited to vote on defending PD interests by prohibiting members from using the party as a political shield – a clear indication to Berisha – and to adopt PD’s political action and new structure.
Berisha declared that some 5,200 assembly members had shown their support with their signatures. However, the current Secretary General of the PD, Gazmend Bardhi, said that he had managed to gather more than 5,200 signatures against Berisha in a couple of weeks.
The National Assembly of the Democratic Party requires that at least half of its 7,600 members be present to reach quorum.