From: Exit News
Opposition Democratic Party to Elect New Leader Next Month following Election Loss

The members of the Democratic Party of Albania will elect their new party chairman on June 13.

On Friday, the PD National Council approved with no votes against the proposal of general secretary Gazmend Bardhi to hold elections in less than a month. 

Two meetings of the highest bodies were held today to discuss the handling of the post-electoral situation. No analysis of the election loss was on the agenda.

In the meeting of the Party Leadership consisting of 27 members, chairman Lulzim Basha stated that before criticising the party leadership he expected everyone to agree that the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama rigged the April 25 election. 

Basha has faced criticism for losing the election, as well as calls for him to step down after being unable to lead the party to victory in his two terms. He has embarked on a national tour to meet with supporters after the loss, while the PD has filed complaints with the Central Election Commission, demanding repeat elections in 9 of the 12 districts nationwide. 

Fatbardh Kadilli, who has announced his candidacy for the post, blamed Basha for the loss, and reiterated his call for his resignation in the meeting. 

Following Bardhi’s proposal for elections, the second meeting took the place, that with the National Council.

More criticism was levied against Basha by a couple of members, namely by former President Bujar Nishani and former PD general secretary Arben Ristani, who demanded his resignation. They admitted the alleged rigging of elections by the government but said this is only half of the truth, and blamed Basha for the loss.

June 13th was voted the date for new elections in the party, and a commission to handle the process was elected. 

Candidates can register until May 22, and an electoral campaign will follow until June 11.

Lulzim Basha will run for a third term. The only challenger so far is Fatbardh Kadilli.

All PD members will be able to vote to elect their leader.