From: Blendi Fevziu
Could This Be the PS–PD Agreement?

Will there be an agreement between the opposition and the majority to clear the way toward the elections and return the country to normality? Have there been attempts to bring the parties closer together on shared issues, at the moment that both are barricaded in positions that hardly resemble each other? These are the basic questions that circulate not only in political circles, but also within Albanian society at the moment that elections are close by, while, unfortunately, the solution doesn’t seem clear to anyone.

At least that’s what it currently looks like, with the opposition insisting on a caretaker government and doesn’t accept any compromise on the points, while the majority deny any crisis whatsoever, doesn’t accept the protest, and declares that it won’t give in an inch to them.

But are there attempts to arrive at an agreement between them that could be a solution? Until now, there has been discussion in the diplomatic circles of Tirana about a hypothetical agreement, according to which, in exchange for a president proposed by the opposition, it will withdraw from the protest and continue to be engaged in the elections. There can be no doubt that this news doesn’t seem serious. PD leader Lulzim Basha has publicly denied it. But in an answer to more concrete questions of Opinion today, he declared that there not only no negotiation about such a request, but that it would be completely unacceptable to the PD. According to Basha, the PD has a public objective that is the caretaker government and it will only negotiate about that.

But beyond the denial of a negotiation between the PD and PS, can this problematic situation lead to a broader agreement rather than just guaranteeing the elections of June? So can it serve to lay the foundations for a behavior and political administration that is more long-terms and a better guarantee for the prosperity of the country?

During the last few years, several important national politicians have proposed to rewrite the rules of the political game and arrive at a broader agreement. Besides Basha who speaks about a “New Republic,” also Ben Blushi proposed fundamental changes in the past.  Dashamir Shehi has been the first to speak about a series of constitutional changes that would be more appropriate to the new political phase into which the country is entering. Ilir Meta himself has made it clear that political agreements between the parties and consensus have to the basis for today’s politics.

But how far-reaching could such an agreement be and what could it include? Without a doubt, this will be determined by the parties after negotiations between them, and, I would add, after a broad public debate. Some of these ideas I already mentioned, and a few can be ordered as follows.

First, the current electoral system needs to be revised. Pre-election coalitions shouldn’t be part of it. Political parties need to enter the election each with their own possibilities and candidates, profiting from a correction on national level based on a more just calculation of their votes. So each takes as many deputies as he deserves. One party will no longer get a deputy in parliament with only 4000 votes just because he is in a coalition with the PS or PD, while another needs to win 13,000 on a national level to secure a seat.  Let coalitions be only on a government level, and let them be created after the elections based on the results of the individual parties.

Second, the number of deputies in Parliament needs to be reduced considerably. Of the 140 that there are today, I believe that 90–100 deputies should be sufficient. This means that you’ll need more votes to be elected deputy and that stealing of votes will be more difficult. Also this will increase the quality of parliament, because vote-buying usually occurs with those who don’t have a proper public profile.

Third, they could consider the possibility to have the president elected by the people, giving him as much or as little competences as the President in Macedonia, that is, without touching the core of the parliamentary republic.

Fourth, they could consider the formulation of broad national agreements: regards the judicial reform, a full and far-reaching decriminalization of politics; the engagement of the opposition not to block any of the standard laws and reforms that are necessary for the integration of the country and the engagement of the majority not to politically use, even during campaigns, any accomplishment that derives from the integration process. Integration into the EU needs to be considered the collective accomplishment of all Albanians.

They need to consider the possibility that large and serious investments have to be approved by both parties, so that there is a preliminary agreement that would reduce the hesitation and fear of investors. Investments continue. Berisha inherited investments from Nano, Rama from Berisha. This will also happen with Basha inheriting Rama’s companies, and someone else who inherit Basha’s.

Fifth, they need to consider the creation of a senate to avoid the crises produced by the lower chamber of parliament, and to create a higher moral authority.

There are many things that could be considered and this is the best moment to do this. Albania needs stability and guarantees and no conflicts. Due to conflict we have remained the last in Europe and outside the door that we should have entered at least 10 years ago. Now is the moment no longer to be late!