State Department Bars Vangjush Dako and His Family from Entering the US

The State Department has barred former Durres Mayor and current local head of Socialist Party Vangjush Dako and his family from entering the United States.

In the media note posted today on the State Department’s website it is noted that the decision of the Secretary of State to bar Vangjush Dako’s family was taken on grounds of his “involvement in significant corruption”.

The State Department has the right to bar foreign citizens from entering the US when there is credible information on their involvement in significant corruption cases or violation of human rights.

Dako refused to answer journalists’ questions today, saying he had no information about the US authorities’ decision.

In October 2018, Mayor Dako had admitted that his US visa had been refused, clarifying that it had been a “partial refusal” as he had failed to submit all required documents.

Dako has been at the center of the Albanian Electiongate, after VoA and Bild published wiretaps evidencing his and other Socialist Party officials’ collusion with criminal groups in buying votes during the 2017 general elections.

Prime Minister Edi Rama assigned Vangjush Dako to lead the Socialist Party electoral campaign for the June 30 elections which the President Meta had cancelled. Rama refused to acknowledge the president’s decision, held one-party elections, won in all municipalities and started parliamentary procedures to dismiss the Meta.

Vangjush Dako is the third high official to be barred from entering the US. MP Tom Doshi and former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla and were also barred earlier.