This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Eduard Zaloshnja
Last week, many news portals in the country reported that an opinion poll funded by Soros foundation suggested that “63% of Albanians do not believe that the vetting process will be able to rid the justice system of the corrupt and incompetent people”. By searching on the internet the source of this news story, I found out that the Albanian Helsinki Committee had conducted an opinion poll, which was funded by Soros Foundation. The opinion poll, which asked people to answer questions about the judicial reform, was carried out in the AHC’s own website, where the number of visitors is very small. Out of a total of 450 visitors who had answered the questions of the opinion poll, 63% of them responded that they did not believe vetting would rid the judicial system of the corrupt and incompetent people.
Of course, this number of people can in no way represent 63% of the Albanian population. In order to obtain the general perception of the public, there needs to be a random sample and respondents should come from all regions of the country, age groups and political convictions. The small number of people visiting an NGO’s website cannot represent the Albanian population.
Given that a few days ago I carried out the monthly political survey for an Albanian magazine, I also decided to add a question relating to vetting. And the findings were the following:
Around 52% say that vetting is ridding justice of the corrupt and incompetent. Around 34% do not believe that vetting is doing this, while 13% did not know. The sample included 2100 adults from all regions of the country while the margin of error in this survey was +/-2.3%.
The extrapolation of the percentages above enables us to comment the results from a political point of view.
Based on the extrapolation of results, the number of adult people who believe vetting is not being effective (720 thousand) is more or less the number of people who voted the main opposition parties two years ago.
Meanwhile, the number of people who believe that vetting is effective (1.1 million ) is much higher than the number of voted the Socialist Party two years ago (764 thousand). This shows that the number of people supporting the vetting process is larger than the number of people taking part in the elections.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy