The Central Election Commission has approved the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) in the upcoming 25 April elections in Albania.
The Chairman of the party is Tom Doshi, a businessman, and ex-Socialist Party member. He was expelled from the Parliamentary Group in 2015 after he criticised Prime Minister Edi Rama, ex-minister and convict Saimir Tahiri, and the at-the-time Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta. He claimed they had put a price of EUR 200,000 on his head and he released a video of him discussing it with the assassin who was allegedly paid to kill him.
In 2018, the US State Department banned him from entering the country for alleged involvement in “significant corruption”, something Doshi denies.
The decision to approve his party for the race came following a meeting of the CEC and despite the appeal of the opposition and members of the international community, not to enroll the party.
In particular, US Ambassador Yuri Kim said that he should not be allowed to run as he was “a model that should not be representative of the Albanian people.”
The PSD was established in 1991 by former communist Minister of Education Skender Gjinushi who ruled the party until 2019. He left the position to become the Chairman of the Academy of Science, an appointment that sparked controversy.