(Rama-Basha agreement, Rama’s resignation and early elections, a long crisis without a solution, the replacement of the opposition and Albania in chaos. These are the five different options that the opposition’s decisions can lead the country to. Albanian Free Press’ Roland Qafoku analyzes the situation by offering a prediction as to what is expected to happen)
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Roland Qafoku
There’s a definition about the political situation in Albania which can also relate to the current political crisis: From the crisis we come, to the crisis we go. Nevertheless, the opposition’s decision to abandon its mandates is something unheard of and unprecedented for the history of Albania and the world. The sides find themselves in opposite positions, the Constitution is unable to address this syndrome, while this is not the first time that the country finds itself in a crossroad. But what is the solution to this situation? Are there practical and legal solutions and what is expected to happen? There are at least five political options which would restore political normality and would prevent the situation from aggravating. However, among these options, there are also options which could drive the country to the brink of catastrophe if the sides do not intervene quickly.
AGREEMENT BETWEEN SP AND DP
Out of all options, the best one would be for the two political leaders, Edi Rama and Lulzim Basha to reach a deal. But how can this deal be reached? Can there be an agreement between Basha and Rama, while Basha has declared and pledged that he will never sign a deal with Rama and the latter has declared that he will not relinquish power? How can there be an agreement for the local government elections and general elections? Perhaps we might answer to this question by asking another question: If the US administration takes the situation in Albania seriously and sends an intermediary, will the democrat leader Lulzim Basha refuse him? We don’t think Basha will say no and this is the most likely option. However, there’s only one problem with this: When will it happen?
RAMA’S RESIGNATION, EARLY ELECTIONS
This would be the option that would certainly satisfy the opposition. If Edi Rama resigns and a snap poll is called, DP, SMI and other opposition parties would consider this a big victory, while leader Basha’s approval rates would go up. This would be a bonus for the opposition and Basha would be in a better position to win the elections. On the other hand, Rama could do this for the sake of the country in order to solve the crisis by sacrificing power. Meanwhile, he would enter the elections with the only goal of winning and in case he achieved this, the opponent would have nothing to complain about. But can this happen? Can Rama relinquish power? Chances for this option to occur are small.
An endless crisis is more terrible than a crisis in the end. As a result, a long political crisis would be the worst possible solution to this situation. This would drive Albania into collapse and nobody would be able to predict the scale of this collapse. What are the chances for this to occur? Would the international community allow such situation? What’s more, would the US allow for this political crisis to last endlessly? No, because the US is planning on being for many years to come here.
REPLACEMENT OF THE OPPOSITION
This would be bad news for the Democratic Party and SMI, but also for democracy in Albania. However, this would be good news for some people who use the Socialist Party for personal gains. The party’s leader and journalists who favour the ruling party have often backed the idea of replacing the opposition and forming other political parties. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as a possibility.
SITUATION ESCALATES INTO CHAOS
This would be a very terrible scenario and nobody would want it. This option could be envisaged by people who put their personal interests above the country’s interests. Whatever happens, if Albania slips into chaos, there’s no doubt that the two sides should be blamed for it.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy