Opinion by Frrok Çupi: The return of the migrating birds in winter

Opinion by Frrok Çupi: The return of the migrating birds in winter
In today’s issue, Albanian Free Press columnist, Frrok Çupi comments on the political developments in the country.

Çupi focuses on the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), which is also the second largest opposition party in the country.

The opinion maker considers SMI as a “migrating” party or as a “migrating bird”, which has a different season from other birds that await the spring.

“The Socialist Movement for Integration has started to return in the middle of winter. It’s returning to the Socialist Party, from which it was born. Being a left wing party, SMI left the Socialist Party in 2004 with the claim that the Socialist Party was heading toward the center”.

During another “season”, in 2009, SMI headed toward the right and joined the “anti-communism” efforts, which were represented by the Democratic Party. This was a healthy “season” in power and it lasted until 2013. In the 2013 “migration”, SMI found itself in the same season as the other migrating birds of spring. The day when SMI left the DP to join the SP was in the middle of spring, namely on 1 April 2013. Meanwhile, SMI once again left its “old nest” in 2017, when it abandoned both SP and DP. In fact, SMI was forced to “abandon” both of these large parties, because they kicked them out. SMI pledged that it would become the “big nest” of all political “birds”, but this has not yet happened”, our columnist writes.

He says that SMI’s decision to join the opposition alongside DP could not last very long, because SMI is used to being in power.

December, which has just started, is issuing clear signals that the Socialist Movement for Integration is once again going back to the SP, the analyst says.

But what are these signals?

According to Çupi, the first signal was November 29, Liberation Day, but also November 28. Why November 28? November 28, which is considered to be Independence Day, is unconditionally respected by all political sides, but they do not celebrate it together. This time, the Democratic Party celebrated it in the capital, while the left celebrated in Vlora ,where independence was declared. The chairman of SMi, Ilir Meta, who is now president of Republic, joined the socialist government in Vlora. Normally, the president of the Republic should have another agenda when it comes to events concerning the Republic, but this time he chose to be close to the Prime Minister and socialist government.

This happened following a conflict that Ilir Meta had with the government for refusing to sign the decree on the appointment of the new Interior minister, thus risking a political crisis. Meanwhile, in Vlora, he was happily seen alongside Rama’s government and this reminded many people of the way he used to look from 2013 until 2017 when he was in coalition with this party.

The second signal relates to the strong support that that SMI is offering for the current mayor of Tirana.

Mrs. Kryemadhi, leader of SMI, praises the contribution and the political behaviour shown by the mayor of Tirana, Erjon Veliaj. She says that Veliaj “works for the city”  and that he has no connections to “criminal gangs”. These two qualities seem to be decisive in selecting future nominees. Veliaj is a socialist, friend and close collaborator of Prime Minister Edi Rama. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of animosity between the latter and SMI. However, everyone realizes that this is pure demagogy in the eyes of the public. SMI is planning to get close to the socialist government and Rama by considering Erjon Veliaj as an honest and hard working person.

Çupi is convinced that the return of SMI to the SP is clear: In other words, Kryemadhi declared that in the June local government elections, SMI will vote the socialist candidate, Erjon Veliaj. This means that SMI is turning its back to its allies in opposition and returns to the SP.

But what will happen to other parties in opposition?

“The third signal: President Ilir Meta who is a de facto leader of SMI, triggered a conflict with the government, by not accepting to sign the decree for the appointment of the Interior minister. With this he wanted to show that he could leave the presidency and return as head of the opposition after suffering “persecution”. But he found it impossible to do this and turned to Rama’s government”.

To conclude, he and his wife Monica, who is the de jure leader of SMI, have decided to “fly” over to the SP and not remain in opposition, where they have no chance to come into power”, analyst Frrok Çupi ends his comment.

Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy







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