It is difficult to talk about the Basha–Rama agreement and even more difficult to say who won and who lost. It is equally difficult to speak about the third losing party, because the equation that this agreement has brought cannot be calculated at the moment. Even if we speak and are sincere, the agreement is full of unknown and no one, including the protagonists, cannot say what its future will be.
But if there’s one thing that can be said about the agreement, it is something that can be fully affirmed: Basha has managed to start the electoral battle and this is greatest victory of his tent.
A simple analysis is enough to argue this point.
On February 17 of this year, one days before the protest tent was installed on the boulevard, Basha and the PD seemed to have little hope. The PS had concluded an XXL coalition with the LSI and PDIU, which implied that their victory would be substantial.
The PD supporters were very little motivated after the local elections of 2015 and especially the problematic loss in Dibra. Those who criticized the PD said that its voters, losing any hope for victory, would go to other parties is no small measures, which would turn into a problem.
All the instruments that support the elections, “the strong ones,” “the rich ones,” and “the influential one,” of the different regions seemed to be allied with the PS.
Basha himself hadn’t consolidated his leadership in the party and many people inside and outside the PD didn’t believe in him.
In this context, the loss of the PD didn’t only seem possible, but nearly assured.
Three months later and through a protest that had many people inside the PD but also in the media, against it, Basha has managed to turn the situation in the favor of his party.
First of all, the XXL coalition is history. The PS will run alone, and so will LSI and PDIU. This is the biggest bonus that Basha got from his protest. In such a match the game is open from the beginning, and the chances for a surprise are there as well. Everyone knows that a tight result could lead to other combinations that lead to the magical number of 71. So the PD is open to join its numbers with all the parties, different from 3 months ago when it had no such chance.
Second, with his tent Basha strengthened the spirit of opposition and resistance and convinced his supporters that a possible victory was not that far away. Firing 15 officials from the government and replacing them with former PD officials has given the message that power is around the corner and this influences the mobilization of his people more than anything.
Third, Basha has considerably consolidated his leadership both within and outside the party. Today you can be in favor of or against Basha inside the party, but it is difficult to think that he is just a puppet, as many people thought 3 months ago.
For all these reasons, Basha has turned the elections into a competition, after 3 months of protests. Without a doubt he knows that also Rama made his calculations. Rama has wanted and managed to remove all weight dragged him down from the coalition and is trying to create a battle in which he either loses or wins everything. Whether he will manage or not, this is again something no one knows. But everyone can at least say that we now have a competition.