Albania’s second largest opposition party, the Socialist Movement for Intengration (LSI), will now be called Partia e Lirisë (The Freedom Party), as former President Ilir Meta returns at the helm.
Meta ended his five-year stint as president on Sunday when Barjam Begaj took over the reins. Met had previously served as the head of LSI, collaborating with both the now-ruling Socialist Party, and even the Democratic Party under Sali Berisha.
During a convention held on Monday (25 July), Monika Kryemadhi resigned as head of the party to pave the way for her husband to take back the position.
In his remarks, Meta unveiled that the party has also changed its name to The Freedom Party.
“As the name suggests, we feel free. Today, Albanians lack freedom, the freedom to vote, to express themselves, the freedom of citizens to be informed, to have democracy. I think today’s date is very important. I have always said that apart from being the best statesman that Albania has, he is also one of the most responsible politicians who never makes a wrong move,” Kryemadhi said about Meta.
The new party chairman said he would meet with the de facto Chairman of the PD, Sali Berisha, to set up a work plan for the future.
“I see PD as the main partner because that is the situation. When the other gentleman was there [Lulzim Basha], I raised my concerns…We do not choose the leaders of other parties, we will respect anyone who will contribute.”
Asked about collaborating with someone who is designated persona non grata by both the US and UK, Meta answered, ” I do not comment on the decisions of another country, they have their reasons, but there is no reason not to respect the will of PD members.”