Interview with former Socialist Party MP, Pirro Lutaj

Interview with former Socialist Party MP, Pirro Lutaj

In contrast with the US diplomacy, the European diplomacy has been very active in the recent days to try and find a solution about the political crisis in Albania. EU diplomats have called on the opposition to return to Parliament, by condemning the decision to abandon their mandates.

Albanian opposition leader, Lulzim Basha replied to EU diplomats by saying that it’s not the opposition who is preventing the country’s European integration, but the government and its ties with organized crime. Basha said that European integration cannot be achieved through lies, while asking the international community if they would accept a government which is connected to organized crime. Former socialist MP, Pirro Lutaj offers his take on the latest political developments in the country

How would you comment the opposition’s decision to abandon their mandates? Do you consider this to be the best course of action?

This is something typical of Sali Berisha which will have a big cost for the country and citizens of this country ahead of the June decision which concerns the opening of accession talks with the EU. The resignation of MPs is an unprecedented and unimaginable act for those who know politics. Abandoning parliamentary mandates is something unthinkable under any circumstances. This is unacceptable for a democratic society and unacceptable for a country that wants to be integrated in the EU.

European diplomacy has called on opposition MPs to return to Parliament, stressing that “even if the opposition’s demands are legitimate, boycott does not solve anything”. What is your opinion on this?

This is not the first time the international community has been critical towards the opposition. The fact that they’ve declared that boycott does not solve anything, shows that the international community takes parliament and its role within a democratic society very seriously.

The European Parliament is also against an interim government, while calling for the sides to engage in dialogue. Do you agree that there shouldn’t be an interim government? What is your opinion on early elections?

This demand has nothing to do with reality and the international community  has made it very clear that there shouldn’t be early elections. How can there be a request for early elections when there’s a legitimate and consolidated parliament which has brought very positive things in the Albanian political life?! This is the best parliament that we’ve had during these years of fragile democracy. This parliament is legitimate and the opposition’s request is absurd.

Some say that Russia is behind these protests and parliamentary boycott. What is your take on this?

We don’t need to make deductions, but we need to focus on what’s happening in Albania and the problems within the country. We need to focus on the problems that exist within Albanian politics, in this case, the opposition launching such initiative. Foreign influences must not be ruled out, but we should focus more on key players within the country and the fact that this is happening three months before the launch of accession talks.

We’re ahead of the local government elections. Do you think that these will be normal elections taking all of this into account?

The fact that we have a responsible government in office means that the local government elections will be normal. People are more responsible now. They will head to the polling stations, with the exception of a few ones who engage in indecent acts in front of parliament and the prime minister’s office.