Do you remember Ilir Meta in April 2008? He had a desperate look on his face during that lengthy hunger strike inside Parliament, with rolled-up sleeves, bruised arms from serum injections, and an unshaved beard. He was standing with a couple of smaller political parties alone against the two bigger ones, the Democratic Party (PD) and the Socialist Party (PS). He was convinced that they wanted to eliminate him politically; the two big parties were convinced that changes in constitution would remove him once and for all. At that time it seemed that Meta and those few others would really disappear.
By 2009 Meta had survived. PD needed at least one more vote to reach the 71 vote threshold, enough to stop PS–LSI from creating a coalition, but not to create a government of its own. Meta’s mandate had became golden.
LSI gained lots of power with PD, but in 2013, PS invited LSI to form a coalition in order to eliminate PD. Those elections gave Meta even more power. He didn’t hold the golden mandate that made the difference, but had the few necessary mandates for PS to reach the magic 71 vote threshold. This event boosted his independence inside the majority.
In the local elections of 2015, PD also understood that Meta was an important factor to change the balance of inside the government. The empowerment of Meta was completely different from the predictions of 2008. Instead of being eradicated, it increased tremendously. The system that emerged relied on the decisions of Meta, and the two-party system was no longer. Both political forces flirted to get Meta’s attention.
There was a moment in autumn 2015 when Basha and Rama purportedly were seeking an agreement in order to free themselves from LSI and other smaller parties, but all of this turned out to be a bluff. Most probably, there weren’t even any messages or negotiations between the two. However, Meta took the rumors at face value and responded to Rama. He forced Rama to fly from New York directly to his ally’s office to clarify the rumors. From that moment onward peace and tranquility between the two was lost. Setting aside the co-governance, both showed great care into making each others’ political lives harder.
Today, LSI’s position is key and next elections depend strongly on them. PDIU is joining them too. The idea that is going around that PS and PD are working on a direct agreement is not only fake but also malicious. Basha doesn’t need and doesn’t have the power to reach such an agreement, at a moment when Meta has given oxygen and legitimacy to his requests. This is not cheap talk but an issue of principles.
Whether we like it or not, Meta is the key factor, toady, of political stability in the country. With all the criticism that comes with it. This is in fact “Meta’s Revenge.” The revenge that started in April 2008, nine years ago, when the two biggest political leaders united to oust him from politics. Few believed that he would make it. They rendered him stronger while aiming to do him in. They handed him the keys to inner political stability and golden mandates for political balance. This the Revenge of Meta that he promised them in April 2008…