Following yesterday’s publication of a video in which a person alleged to be Socialist Mayor of Bulqiza Lefter Alla appears to be snorting cocaine in a public place, the mayor denied it was him and stated the video was edited by the opposition Democratic Party (PD).
The video was published by journalist Artan Hoxha.
Mayor Alla stated that the PD had started an attack with edited videos against him due to them not being able “to plunder” the city’s natural resources anymore, since Alla has become mayor. “You won’t stand a chance blackmailing me,” he challenged the opposition Facebook post.
Socialist Party MP Xhemal Qefalia, who appears in the Albanian Electiongate wiretaps, defended the mayor on behalf of his party, stating that he would be dismissed if prosecutors “proved the accusations”, adding that the video could be edited. According to the Constitution, Prime Minister Edi Rama can dismiss the mayor.
“[Mayor Lefter Alla] has shown integrity and good words are said about him. I believe his statement until the video is proved [to be unedited]. We have no reason to believe [what appears in the video] if there are no facts and evidence. Given that such editing is possible, why shouldn’t we believe him?! I tend to believe his words. We discussed this with colleagues [Socialist Party MPs]. We will wait for evidence to prove [the video],” MP Qefalia stated in a TV show.
While taking narcotics is not an offence and does not prevent the mayor from holding office, possession of narcotics is illegal.
Five Socialist Party mayors confirmed in the last one-party local elections in Albania have been accused by the opposition for various crimes that should prohibit them from exercising public office. Socialist candidates won in all 61 municipalities across Albania in the June 30 elections.