Friday, June 10, 2011

Something Is Rotten in the State of Albania

An Albanian opposition lawmaker talks to police as demonstrators try to enter the Central Election Commission to protest the delay in the release of results from the May 8 local elections.

Albania has been in political crisis for the last two years, since the general elections of 2009. The local elections of May 8 did nothing to ease the situation. On the contrary, the aftermath of the local elections has brought the country to the brink of collapse.

The Socialist Party in opposition won in the most important cities, including some once hailed as Democratic Party bastions. The race for Tirana saw against each other the leader of the Socialist Party and the current mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, seeking his fourth consecutive mandate against the rising star of the right-wing Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha.

Basha, over the last five years—as minister of foreign affairs, minister of transportation and telecommunications, and minister of the interior—won himself a name as one of most successful politicians in the country while at the same time being the most accused man of corruption after Prime Minister Sali Berisha. On January 21, when the Republican Guard killed four innocent demonstrators in Tirana, Basha was the minister of the interior, responsible for the Republican Guard. Tirana's race finished in the narrowest electoral contest in Albania, with Rama winning by just 10 votes out of the more than 250,000 cast.......more se:

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