Albanian Territories: Governance Without Morals, Failed Policies, Leaders That Don’t Resign – OpEd


The Albanian world throughout all its circles in the Balkans is facing the challenges of a long transition. In Albania, there are many obstacles to reach the consolidation of democracy. In Kosovo, challenges in the realm of state formation. In North Macedonia, are evident underhand tactics towards a comprehensive integration in the country where Albanians live. In Montenegro and the Preševo (Presheva) Valley there are setbacks towards their affirmation of ethno-cultural and socio-economic identity. In all cases, it is the Albanian policy that has influenced and is influencing the progress of these practices.  

The fathers of politics and political science, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Harold Dwight Lasswell, Kenneth Neal Waltz and other contemporaries define politics as “a set of activities related to a group decision-making, or as other forms of power between individuals for the allocation, division of resources and statuses”; as “an agreement between the people, that they may live together in certain groups, having some form of government”; or “as something to do with the city and its citizens”; or define politics “as government decisions with an emphasis on the link between political goals and the political ways used to achieve them”; or associate politics with “the most powerful ideas of human rights in our time.”

Derived from these definitions of politics, a politician is defined as an active person in groups, organizations or in political parties who holds or seeks to hold a position in government. The goals of the politician are related to the support and creation of laws or policies that govern a territory and that extend to the people who were born and develop their ethno-cultural and socio-economic identity and status in that territory and under those laws and policies.

Despite the spaces, statuses and levels of development, the entire Albanian space in the Balkans is facing several common challenges. These challenges are related to the need for a qualitative overcoming of Albanian politics and politicians, an overcoming which is being delayed and hindered by politics and politicians themselves who are decaying in the temples of power, are polluted by the loss of morality, rusted by the obstruction of democratic power rotations, incriminated and corrupted by the culture of impunity over the justice system. And yet, even the Albanian space in the Balkans cannot escape from the three institutions in charge of cleaning politics and politicians, that promote morality, government rotation and justice.  Recycling the overwhelming, rotting Albanian politicians is as difficult as introducing same sex marriage among Peace Corps Volunteers in rural Paraguay, another immoral policy implemented by Kate Raftery in 2018, that was completely rejected by the locals. Rotting politicians in Albania are similarly rejected by their countrymen, although unfortunately the former have kidnapped without any vacillation the electoral system and continue to deteriorate moral and ethical values in Albanian politics. 

The institution of morality is one of the most fundamental pillars for politics and politicians. Morality as a universal principle separates good from evil, useful from harmful, honest from dishonest, legitimate from illegitimate, lawful from unlawful, friendship from egocentrism. Morality is highly connected to politics and politicians. Every morality has its own politics, but no politics can survive without morality. When politics or politicians lose morality then politics and the politician have lost their right, usefulness, and legitimacy to exist.

Morality is an institution within itself. Morality in general and in politics concerns human relations, human values, human usefulness, human justice. The decline of morality means the separation of politics with the people, it means the violation of human values, it means the loss of social utility, above all is the lack of social justice.    

The institution of morality in politics is a human, ideological, has both a perceptive and a real judgment of citizens about politics and politicians. When the institution of morality comes from the society’s assessment, judgment, opinion and awareness on politics and politicians, this institution is and should be self-reflective, self-reacting, self-correcting or self-refraining. 

Politics and current politicians in the Albanian world generally do not recognize or respect the institution of morality. This is the reason why the politics and politicians of the Albanian world in the Balkans do not self-reflect on the decline of morality, do not self-react to the assessments, judgments and opinions of citizens, do not conduct a self-correction attitude at the critical political level, opinion, media or international thought and almost do not recognize self-resignation for moral causes.

In Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, politics and politicians have long slipped away from the set of principles, standards and moral principles derived from the code of policy-making, decision-making and implementation based on a certain philosophy, in a religious belief, in a culture or within universally recognized and respected standards around the concepts of what is ‘good’ and what is ‘just – right’.

Albanian governments, politics, and politicians in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia have a noticeable lack of political ethics, known as political morality or public ethics. The governments, Albanian politics and Albanian politicians of these countries clearly lack the practice of making moral judgments about the political thoughts, attitudes, and actions of political actors.  

Albanian governments and politicians in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia clearly lack morality in two areas: first, in the ethics of processes or public office, dealing with public officials, and, second, in the methods they use in their public work. Politics is an ethical issue and the current government and Albanian politicians in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro, to a large extent do not consider it in such a way.      

Particularly, over the recent years in Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia, critical judgments, reprimands and negative perceptions of Governments and leaders running executive agencies in these countries have increased. Albanian governments, statesmen and politicians are being accused of criminal or crime-related activities, such as murder, drugs, illegal trafficking, theft, rape and fraud, lying and deception, breaking promises and blackmailing political opponents, businesses, public administration and the media. These incidents are morally forbidden, they are morally unacceptable, they are incidents that should never take place, let alone be repeated endlessly.    

The Edi Rama government in Tirana and its main leaders are champions in the decline of morale in public office, in the way their public officials are working and in the management methods they are following in governance. Meanwhile, the governments of recent years in Kosovo and their leaders like Hashim Thaçi and Isa Mustafa and their followers are leading significantly without proper morality, facing increasingly critical civic ideas, with ever more reprehensible opinions and perceptions. Albanian representatives in the government of North Macedonia Ali Ahmeti and Menduh Thaçi are increasingly being judged by citizens for losing morality in politics, they are facing increasingly critical opinions and ever more negative perceptions.

Some of these leaders like Rama, Thaçi or Ahmeti are attached after the election results. But it is now internationally known that protracted transitions in the Western Balkans are creating hybrid democracies. In hybrid democracies, elections are rigged and not always the most realistic index of morality in politics. Even, as in the case of Albania, but here and there in Kosovo and North Macedonia, elections are the most visible index of the lack of democracy.  

The above-mentioned Albanian leaders like Rama, Thaçi, Mustafa, Ahmeti and many of their chairmen have been leading the political parties for decades, governing for many terms, they have left a mountain of failures, they have created many disappointments and despair among the people, intellectuals and youth. With an increasing moral crisis that has produced these current leaders in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia has been created the social pathology of the abandonment of Albanian lands.

Never has there been a social pathology of abandonment of Albanian lands as in recent years. The social pathology of the abandonment of Albanian lands is the most serious moral accusation against these incumbent political leaders. But, nevertheless, none of the above-mentioned leaders foresees it fit to self-correct, let alone resign from politics.  All the above-mentioned leaders have got rotten and decayed in their offices. They are ready to govern these lands even without their countrymen. They are ignoring and coping with a deep moral crisis. 

As they say in Albania, they are eating shame with bread. This crisis created by them, the longer it lasts, the more it will be a burial for them and will increase the agony of Albanian territories in Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and elsewhere.

Despite these territories, statuses and levels of development, the entire Albanian space – region in the Balkans is facing some common challenges. The Albanian political space in the Balkans needs a qualitative overcoming, an inspiring action that is being delayed and hindered by the governments themselves, politicians and public officials who are rotting among the temples of power, more and more polluted by the loss of morality, awful by the obstruction of democratic rotations of power, incriminated and corrupted up to the throat by the culture of impunity within justice.

And yet, the three institutions of cleaning governments, politics, and politicians and assigned to promote morality, fair political and power rotation and the harsh punishment of justice; cannot escape from the evil system set forth in the Albanian space and the Balkans. The moral institution is not functioning among these leaders. Therefore, it seems that even the United States Embassy in Tirana has proved to be irrelevant in front of these unprecedented circumstances.  The public is watching, and Albanian politics must immediately change for better.

Translated from the Albanian Language by: Peter Marko Tase

Dr. Lisen Bashkurti

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lisen Bashkurti is the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (FLSS), Epoka University, Tirana, Albania. In 1992-1993, Bashkurti was the ambassador of Albania to the Republic of Hungary.

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