Large Protests and Political Crisis in Albania

Dr. Ana L. Scheer

The Balkan Peninsula is known as the “gunpowder barrel” of the European continent. In Albania, this “gunpowder barrel” seems to explode quite often due to frequent political conflicts. For any foreign observer the continuous political crisis in this country seem absurd but for the Albanian people it is a harsh reality that effects them socially, economically as well as jeopardizes the European integration of the country in EU.

What is happening in Albania? Why the gunpowder barrel has exploded again? And why, Albanians are frightened that this political conflict might escalate into a civil conflict?

During the parliamentary elections of 2017, the three leading parties achieved these results:

  • Socialist Party of Albania – 764,791 votes – 48.34% – 74 seats
  • Democratic Party of Albania – 456,481 votes – 28.85% – 43 seats
  • Socialist Movement for Integration – 225,975 votes – 14.28% – 19 seats

The Socialist Party secured enough seats to rule as majority in government. But the election process was recently disputed by the Democratic Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration due to the exposure of investigating files 339 and 184 in which ministers, mayors and other key important figures of the Socialist Party were involved into collaborating with organized crime in order to intimidate the voters and manipulate the results.

As the local elections of June 30, 2019 were approaching, the opposition parties withdrew their mandates from parliament, i.e.: 60 out of 140 seats letting the majority (SP) to seat and rule alone in parliament. The two opposition parties, representing 43% of the voters are already out of parliament asking for the resignation of Albanian premier Edi Rama, whose prompt political maneuver did not involve resignation, nor talks, but replacement of the parliamentary seats with freelance candidates who rushed to cease such an opportunity, thus creating the new opposition designed by the premier himself.

Despite the addition of the new MP-s the Albanian Parliament is still not in its full capacity because there are many unoccupied seats, a fact that legally raises many constitutional questions.

In addition, in order to avoid the failure of the forthcoming local elections, Rama is encouraging and supporting, and even raising small parties, to register in the Electoral College. With such a maneuver, without the opposition, the SP will ensure the wining of every single municipality in the country. With the central and local government under total control, and a parliament under his rule, premier Rama might as well enjoy the attributes of an ancient monarchy.

Therefore, during the recent weeks thousands have rallied in the streets of Tirana, especially in front of the prime-ministry and parliament asking for the resignation of Edi Rama as the only solution of free and fair elections.

During the first mandate of the Edi Rama premiership Albania has received frequent negative reports from the State Department and several foreign institutions regarding the high level of corruption, organized crime, cultivation of cannabis and smuggling of heavy drugs. The world media has raised many alerts about the nation spread cultivation of cannabis. The state police has been allegedly involved in such activities and up to the present several district heads of police have fled the country, wanted by the authorities, and are still at large.

In 2016 an Italian and German report indicated that there were 363 cannabis areas spread throughout the country. This report was kept secret by the government and when exposed by the few independent media it was denied, however, the former Minister of Interior, Saimir Tahiri went under investigation accused of drugs trafficking and collaboration with organized crime. The financial income from the cannabis activity was estimated in 5 billion euros, half the country’s GDP. The opposition parties claimed that this money was used in ensuring victory in parliamentary elections as well as money laundry. It was this past bitter experience that forced the opposition parties undertaking the radical decision of boycotting the parliament and sabotaging the forthcoming local elections.

Albania seems to be heading toward a civil conflict. In June the European Commission is expected to refuse once again the opening of the negotiations for the Albanian membership in EU. This will be an added fuel to the present situation. The international institutions are observing patiently, awaiting the Albanian political storm to cease. A storm that seems to end only by the decision to step down of one man: the Albanian premier, Edi Rama.


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Apr 30, 2019 2:08 AM

Albania seems to be heading toward a civil conflict!!!!!!
(This is a payed paragraph by oposition that is financed by external interest to destabilize Albania) In June the European Commission is expected to refuse once again the opening of the negotiations for the Albanian membership in EU. This will be an added fuel to the present situation. The international institutions are observing patiently, awaiting the Albanian political storm to cease. A storm that seems to end only by the decision to step down of one man: the Albanian premier, Edi Rama.!!!!!!!!

(Please do not use expression of so called politicians out of parlament. …they do not represent the people of Albania and they are being financed by external forces to destabilize Albania )

Apr 29, 2019 11:43 PM

Europiane immigrated all their life . Italians from Europe are like gypsies from India- everywhere in the world. As soon as 5000 ALBANIANS emigrate ,than WOW .
This is related with history of Europe. ALBANIANS stand in their feets and it doesn’t matter reach or poor .They have pride and never sealed with groups of Europe.
Really – criminals from Albania only in Europe …go scrue yourself EU…will come at one point that ALBANIANS will never need that funny EU ….already we are 1 million in America– land of freedom and dignity
Take a hike EU …..that’s why English are terrified with that dishonest EU

May 14, 2019 10:09 AM
Reply to  Mr.Herry

Albanians, in the world, maybe don’t need EU, but Albania country and Albanians in Albania needs it desperately. Is the only way to enforce some legislation for human civil rights, security from all sort of injustice etc. Hope to join EU asap as to be the only way to go for prosperity.

Apr 29, 2019 11:01 PM

Some politicians in the Europe are personally involved with Albanian Government and the drug trafficking in all Europe for there own personal interests.

If they didn’t like what the PM of Albania EDI Rama is doing,
They would get ready off hem.
Ps Edi Rama and Erdogan of Turky are best friends.
Pm off Serbia with his best friend Putin of Russia Pm off Albania Pm off Turkey and some corrupted politicians in Europe including England where all the money is coming to be cleaned.

I’m not a journalist but all Albanian ppl know this for fact.
We need all the journalists to investigate all the politicians and there money starting in Albania

Apr 29, 2019 5:09 PM

Corrupted politicians. Europe should help us

Paul Metcalf
Paul Metcalf
Apr 29, 2019 10:14 AM

“………the high level of corruption,organised crime,cultivation of cannabis and smuggling of heavy drugs.”Sounds like septictank land to me.

Apr 29, 2019 9:16 AM

The last Sophie and Co on RT.com was very good with an interview of the Serbian Foreign Minister re Kosovo and Albania relations.

Apr 29, 2019 1:03 AM

Bring back Enver Hoxha. Albania was just a quaint little place minding its own business and not bothering anybody. Like Yugoslavia under Tito. Or the old Soviet Union, which discouraged the Yew Ess Ayy and the Chosen People from destroying another country every five minutes. Nothing ever changes for the better.

Apr 29, 2019 9:48 PM
Reply to  mark

I see you pissed of 4 sheep. Good job!

May 13, 2019 8:16 AM
Reply to  mark

You saying we should bring back a psycho that had immaginary fights in his head building bunkers for nothing?! Beware of histry before saying something like this. Enver Hoxha was a monster that killed lots of people just cause they didn’t like his actions and didn’t wanna collaborate. Enver Hoxha destroyed families, killed fathers and sent to jail youngsters.