This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
The National Assembly of the Democratic Party led by Lulzim Basha has recently elected the party’s new leadership and now that this is over and done with, we can say that the Democratic Party is Lulzim Basha’s “all inclusive” party. Now that all the party’s structures have been elected, the Democratic Party may be considered as a reconstructed party. On June 12, Lulzim Basha turns 45 and on 23 July, it will be 7 years since he was elected party chairman. However, between these two dates, there’s a date which is quite scary for him: The local government elections will take place. These elections will mark the third electoral battle since he was elected party chairman and Lulzim Basha’s political fate seems to be depending on these elections. A victory by the DP would without any doubt improve his approval ratings. However, his defeat would put a big question mark on his future as party leader. For these reasons, Basha has made sure to gather around him people loyal to him rather than a winning team. This is a team made up of people elected by Basha. Now, he can no longer claim that Berisha’s people are still in the party and acting as obstacles for him. If the team of advisors and associates will produce the same miserable results that they did in 2017, then Lulzim Basha will be the only one to be blamed for this. In a modern political concept, this is normal. Likewise, even his resignation would be considered as something normal in case he loses the June 30 elections. The party has recently elected several figures who are valued for their formation and activity, however, more is expected of them. The February 16 protest is their first test to show that this leadership is different to the one before.
GAZMEND BARDHI, GENERAL SECRETARY
When he was elected Justice minister, he was chosen as a technocrat and he was expected to remain with that status. But, Gazmend Bardhi managed to grow as a political figure. A hardworking figure, Bardhi launched a series of actions that had an impact on the government. Perhaps these were the reasons why chairman Basha saw him as the most suitable figure for the post of general secretary.
However, this is the big test for him, because the DP’s support among voters is at its lowest, while the Socialist Party is in its second term in office. This is a Democratic Party which is still unable to inspire hope. A Democratic Party which can be easily defeated by Edi Rama. A Democratic Party which cannot be considered as an alternative, but as a party whose turn is to come into power. Therefore, Gazmend Bardhi has big challenges in front of him.
ÇLIRIM GJATA, SECRETARY FOR LEGAL AFFAIRS
In one of the first declarations that he made, Gjata said that one of the reasons he was willing to contribute for the party was because justice system in the country was completely ruined and that his role was considered to be an emergency. Yes, but politics is not all about the justice system. First of all, being part of a political party requires the ability to collect votes, because votes are the only means of coming into power.
IVI KASO, SECRETARY FOR ELECTORAL AFFAIRS
After having graduated with excellent results at La Sapienza, Italy, in the past 10 years, Ivi Kaso became an expert of electoral affairs for the Democratic Party. Nobody doubts Kasos’ abilities, but his argument that the elections are stolen by Rama, cannot turn into a permanent alibi for the opposition. This party should do everything to win the elections and not find an excuse for losing them.
ERVIN MINAROLLI, SECRETARY FOR HUMAN RESOURCES
Engineer Ervin Minarolli will be secretary for Human Resources, replacing Fatbard Kadilli in this post. With a young generation which has abandoned the country and a cast of intellectuals who are no longer part of the Albanian society, Minarolli has his work cut out for him. Bringing people without vices to the Democratic Party is a very tough challenge for him. If he manages to do this, then he will be successful. If not, his goods grades in school would have had no value whatsoever.
SAHIT DOLLAPI, ORGANIZATION SECRETARY
Throughout his entire career, Dollapi has played a key political role in the party, but now he needs to do even more. He needs to know that he’s capable of restructuring not only the party’s structures in Tropoja, but the entire country. He needs to show that the DP is an organized party. Organization has been something which has not been promoted that much in the Democratic Party in the recent years. Perhaps, Dollapi may be able to do something about this. He has been given a big opportunity and he has a lot to do about this. Let us wait and see.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy