Analysis 06 Apr 17

Albania Coalition on Rocks Ahead of Elections

After four years in government, the alliance between Edi Rama’s Socialists and Ilir Meta’s LSI is in doubt, as both partners tire of each other and flirt with the opposition.

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Tirana
Prime Minister, Edi Rama and the chairman of Parliament, Ilir Meta (above). Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra

Weeks before procedures start officially for the election of a new President - and almost two months before a general election - the political scene in Albania is increasingly troubled.

One reason is the complex, difficult relationship between the partners in the ruling coalition, the Socialist Party, led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, and the Socialist Movement for Integration, LSI, led by the speaker of parliament, Ilir Meta.

Rama and Meta have jointly led the centre-left coalition that has run the country for almost four years. But their relationship has turned bitter, as each party ponders whether to maintain the coalition or contest the next election on its own, or with new allies.

The situation has been further complicated by the fact that main opposition Democratic Party, led by Lulzim Basha, is threatening to boycott the general election set for June 18 unless Rama resigns and allows the formation of an “expert” government tasked with securing free and fair elections.

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