Majority-Opposition Consensus on Tightrope

After a positive spell with both sides expressing their determination on the adoption of laws considered vital to Albania’s EU push, the Prime Minister and opposition leader have exchanged accusations on the progress of electoral reform

TIRANA – The consensus reached between the ruling majority and opposition socialists last November seems to be on tightrope. After a positive spell with both sides expressing their determination on the adoption of laws considered vital to Albania’s EU push, the Prime Minister and opposition leader have exchanged accusations on the progress of electoral reform and parliamentary rules of procedure reform. On the other hand, after adopting several important draft laws, the rhetoric between Premier Sali Berisha and Socialist Party (SP) leader got harsh on Thursday.

PM Berisha Accuses Opposition of Trying to Block EU Candidate Country Status
“You want to block the candidate country status. The ruling majority will never beg you not to do it. You tried it by boycotting the parliament; you organized 1,700 demonstrations and seized the Prime Minister’s office. But you suffered it in the most exemplary way as well as defeated on May 8,” Prime Minister Sali Berisha told opposition lawmakers during a fierce debate in parliament’s Thursday plenary session.
He noted that the truth concerning the electoral reform is crystallized in the reforms after 2008 as the socialist leadership was trying to abandon every agreement. Berisha said that opposition leader had launched the serial of accusations.
He accused the opposition of breaching the agreement by demanding that Prime Minister’s speaking time in parliament was limited and equaled to the speaking time of opposition leader.
According to him, the opposition had demanded that decrees in parliament were voted in a secret voting process. Berisha said that decrees should be voted openly and not secretly.
Berisha also slammed the request of the opposition demanding eight years behind bars for all those persons caught manipulating the elections.

Opposition Demands Implementation of Entire OSCE/ODIHR Recommendations
In a tit-for-tat reaction, the SP leader Edi Rama declared in a press conference that he wasn’t surprised by the vulgarity of Premier’s rhetoric against the opposition. Rama said that opposition was concerned over the dragging of the process for the electoral reform beyond the deadlines. He brought to attention the declarations of Prime Minister Berisha that he was going to accept the entire proposals of the opposition for the electoral reform. In this context, Rama declared that Berisha hadn’t accepted any of the proposals of the OSCE/ODIHR for the electoral reform let alone the proposals of the opposition. Rama pointed that opposition demanded the implementation of every single proposal by OSCE/ODIHR.

Rama Has Meeting with Troika of Ambassadors, Concerns on Electoral Reform
SP leader had a meeting on Thursday afternoon a meeting with the Troika of Ambassador including U.S. Ambassador Alexander Arvizu, Head of EU Delegation, Ambassador Ettore Sequi, and Head of OSCE Presence, Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, a statement from SP offices said. During the meeting, which was organized following the request of Rama, the latter presented the Ambassadors with the concerns of the opposition over the breach of deadlines for the electoral reform and the discouraging progress of the process on January 21 events in the courts.
Troika Ambassadors expressed their understanding on the concerns presented by the opposition and hailed the constructive role of the opposition for the adoption of reforms considered as very important by EU.

Last edited: Friday, 24 February 2012

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