From: Bledar Qalliu
Democratic Party To Vote Only a Consensual Candidate for Albania’s President

The Democratic Party will vote for the election of the new Albanian president only if the majority grants the opposition the right to propose a consensual candidate.

A resolution passed on Friday evening by the National Council of the largest opposition party authorized the temporary Refoundation Committee to appoint representatives for negotiations to find common grounds with other opposition parties. It recalled how the PD condemned past boycotts last week, and stated it won’t step aside from the election of the president.

In case there is a political consensus created to elect a president proposed by the opposition, opposition MPs are authorized to propose candidates. A minimum of 20 MPs are required to propose a candidate for president, and the opposition has 59 MPs.

In a slam to a number of PD MPs, who despite overwhelming support by party members for Berisha oppose his initiative to take over the party, the resolution says that the Socialist majority is trying to present a farcical parliamentary process to elect the president by appointing the opposition representatives it wants to negotiate with.

MP Enkelejd Alibeaj has led a group of PD MPs in talks with the Socialists in his claimed capacity of chief whip, although he was stripped off of the duty last week by the party’s national assembly. Alibeaj and most PD MPs refuse to recognize the authority of new party organs coming out of two national assemblies and approved by a national vote of PD members.

Prime Minister Edi Rama also has vowed to never communicate with Berisha, allegedly because of the fact that he is designated over corruption by the US State Department. US government officials have also stated they won’t meet with anyone who is designated by US authorities. In addition, Rama calls the 78-year-old “the dead one” since Berisha toppled former PD chairman Lulzim Basha.

The resolution noted that consultation with PD MPs chosen by Rama would only contribute to deepening the political crisis, further harming the legitimacy of the process and the credibility of the future president.

The Constitution prescribes five parliamentary sessions for the election of the president: the first three requiring consensus between the opposition and majority, and the last two enabling the election with a simple majority vote, which the Socialists comfortably hold. The first session should be held in a few days from now.

This was highlighted in the resolution, which further argued that the first three sessions are not merely a formality, but they have an essentially political nature and should include the true political will of the people as represented by political parties.

Apart from this resolution, the PD National Council also voted to elect its new chair. Edi Paloka was elected with 132 votes in favor, while Eleina Qirici received 79 votes. Of the 279 council members, 211 were present, with 36 PD MPs that oppose Berisha choosing not to attend the meeting.


Read more: Election of President Stirs Up Albanian Opposition’s Internal Strife