Edi Rama on Postponing the Elections, 10 Years Ago and Today

At the end of 2006, Edi Rama decided not to enter the local elections, to be held on January 20, 2007, unless three non-negotiable conditions were fulfilled, one of them being the postponement of the elections:

  1. The postponement of elections in order to give more time to the citizens to verify their names on the electoral lists;
  2. To complete the electoral reform held in the country;
  3. Citizen’s certificate to be sealed by the Central Election Commission (KQZ).

The Socialist Party threatened that it would not register for the elections if these conditions were not fulfilled. As a result, the elections got postponed to February 18 and a solution was found to the other conditions put forward by Edi Rama and the Socialist Party.

The reason and rhetorics that Rama used at that time to ask for the postponement of the elections stand in stark contrast with his stance on the same issue today.

10 years ago Edi Rama spoke about the standard of free and fair elections, non-negotiable conditions in the name of freedom, people’s will, putting an end to the cycle of election manipulation, etc.

But today he talks about the Constitution, a crisis fabricated by the opposition, about the right of majority to decide, entering alone in the elections, etc.


10 years ago

Beginning of 2006

We stand in a situation where the obstruction of the electoral reform, the total lack of all the measures being taken to guarantee a fair and free electoral process, and the fact that for the first time in the history of elections in Albania we entered the elections without an electoral code which has been endorsed by all parties, but with the rules of the game being set only by the government.

We will not allow that the Prime Minister together with his pincers which are well-known in the traditions of the elections not only in Albania, but also inside the Democratic Party as instrument of continuous manipulation, to impinge our result… a result which is only a result of victory.

December 11, 2006

There cannot be elections, if the conditions are those of today. Once again, in the name of the citizens of this country, we ask to the Prime Minister and his allies to leave aside their ambitions and achieve together with us what is best for our country and its people.

December 12, 2016

We are at a moment in time where the free and fair elections stand in agony. The postponement of the elections has not been our objective. This has been a proposal coming from the international allies, I say so in order to clarify this discussion because it has been months that he keeps talking while asking that with his old style, his old language, with all his ways of the past, like a servant and not an idealist… Sali Berisha keeps telling fairytales to the Albanian people and he keeps maltreating the truth every second.

Today the fate is decided only by the free vote and there is no God on this earth that can touch it, because we are the force for a different future. We must be ready to sacrifice ourselves in the name of the Socialist Party. Today is not the day to think about the abyss, but for the future.

We asked three things which we view as non-negotiable in order to guarantee the progress of the process for free and fair elections.

December 12, 2006

The Steering Assembly of the Socialist Party unanimously approved a resolution not to register at KQZ, in which it is stated that:

The electoral process in Albania has entered today in a vicious circle and the free and fair elections with the conditions as they are today are completely compromised.

PS distances itself from this unconstitutional, illegal electoral process which has no democratic standards and which in January 20, 2007, aims to deform the will of the Albanian voters and the violent imposition of a farce where no progressive force can take part in.

We ask to avoid the crisis where the electoral process has entered and the creation of the conditions to guarantee free and fair elections in accordance with democratic standards, which should be developed in a electoral code, the reform of which should be grounded on the recommendations of OSCE-ODIHR.

PS reconfirms the unwavering willpower to open a new chapter in the history of the elections in Albania, offering a consensus for the achievement of the democratic electoral standards and refusing any rule or any one-sided imposed directive that prolongs the chain of contested elections, which are deformed and unacceptable for our european vision for Albania.

December 18, 2006

The postponement of the election date is an important step in guaranteeing the standards, since it gives the possibility to organize the voter’s lists, within the 85 days timeline asked from our side.

December 21, 2006

We are ready to enter the elections at any moment that our European standards are guaranteed, because if we negotiate standards it means that we are negotiating our future. The decision to distance ourselves from an illegal process is not a result of a request coming from higher structures of the party, but it’s a result of the willpower expressed by more that half of the Albanian people through the community membership of PS.

December 24, 2006

The Prime Minister is afraid of elections. He either does not want them or he wants them deformed, on the other side, we are asking for free and fair election, otherwise there will be none, for this I give you my word.

January 9, 2007

It is our right as opposition to require the living minimum for the elections. Albania is not an African country, but a European one and as such it deserves European standards.


10 years later

March 19, 2017

In Albania the elections are administered by an institution called electoral administration. There will be no offer to postpone the elections.

The date of the elections is set by our Constitution as the day of judgment of the parties by the people. The parties present themselves in front of the sovereign, and not the people in front of the parties.

March 22, 2017

The Socialist Party will enter the elections even if all the other parties don’t. There will be no postponement of the election date, there will be no caretaker government. With or without Sali, with or without Luli, in coalition or alone, we will enter the elections on June 18.

Even if nobody wants to enter the elections, PS will enter them, get 140 deputies of the Parliament and with it’s vote will pass the vetting law and any other law of the Justice Reform.

April 2, 2017

Democracy does not force anybody to enter the elections if they do not want to. This is democracy. If you want to enter the elections, you enter. If not, you do not.

It is not our duty and we do not worry at all about the possibility of the country being left without an opposition. So no worries about a caretaker government. The stone has been thrown in the river that has washed away the Democratic Party.

April 5, 2017

Our Constitution is very clear, the elections must be held at June 18.