ISSN 2330-717X

Albania: Opposition Unites To Challenge Rama In April Elections

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Two of the main opposition parties in Albania have signed a coalition agreement ahead of the April 25 general elections, hoping to present a more robust challenge to Edi Rama’s governing Socialists.

By Fjori Sinoruka

The main opposition Democratic Party, PD, and the smaller left-wing Socialist Movement for Integration, LSI, put their ideological divisions aside on Monday to sign a pre-election agreement ahead of a legislative vote on April 25, under the slogan, “Albania, a home that wins”.

Under the agreement, the two parties will run separate candidates’ lists in the elections but will then cooperate on forming a government should they topple Edi Rama’s Socialist Partywho is seeking a third consecutive mandate as Prime Minister.

In tandem with the deal with the LSI, the Democratic Party has also formalized a pre-election coalition deal, called “Democratic Party – Alliance for Change”, binding a myriad alliance of no less than smaller 13 political parties.

“As the United Opposition, the PD and LSI will compete in the elections with two lists (PD-AN + LSI), to achieve full and comprehensive political-electoral representation and the crowning the victory of the opposition in the elections,” the agreement says.

In the 13-point agreement signed on Monday, the parties, among other things, pledged to pull the country out of economic crisis and achieve the fulfilment of all conditions needed for EU membership.

“We as the LSI and PD will continue to be two entities with their own identities and we will continue to, and at times we may, have objections to certain policies – but we pledge that we will find a common language of cooperation and work hard always to put the interests of Albania and the Albanians first,” Monika Kryemadhi, head of the LSI, said.

“Our joint journey to change Albania begins today,” agreed Lulzim Basha, head of the Democratic Party. “Our coalition, the Democratic Party and the Alliance for Change and the Socialist Movement for Integration, have joined all forces to guarantee that April 25 will be the day of change,” he added.

Two years ago, the Democratic Party and the LSI quit Albania’s parliament, “burning” their electoral mandates and withdrawing all their deputies from the chamber.

Since then, a new parliamentary opposition has been formed by new MPs coming from their party lists. The two boycotting parties did not participate in the 2019 local elections, in which Rama’s Socialists effectively ran on their own.

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The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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