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News 29 Apr 13

Albania Nationalists Divided Ahead of Polls

Key officials from the nationalist Red and Black Alliance have left the party, accusing its leader Kreshnik Spahiu of ignoring their opinions two months before parliamentary elections.   

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Red and Back Alliance leader Kreshnik Spahiu

“Spahiu is not acting in the national interest but rather for personal interests,” said Dashamir Uruci, the party's secretary for economic affairs, who resigned on Monday.

Meanwhile the party's agriculture secretary, Ago Nezha, who also resigned, said in an interview with the daily Shekulli that Spahiu ran the party as his own business.

“When it came to decision-making, [decisions] were not taken in a collegial way,” he said.

“Decisions were taken in a clandestine and diabolic manner,” he added.

According to local media, nearly two dozen members of the presidency of the Red and Black Alliance resigned after its leader Spahiu announced that it would not join the Socialist-led opposition coalition ahead of the June 23 parliamentary elections.

“Spahiu did not even ask when he decided to run alone in the elections,” Uruci claimed.

A spokesperson for the Red and Black Alliance was not reachable for comment on Monday.

The Socialists have accused Spahi of covertly conspiring with Prime Minister Sali Berisha to bleed votes from the opposition ranks.

In a blog published on Wednesday, Socialist leader Edi Rama said that Spahiu had asked to nominate five MPs from the Socialist electoral roll in order to join the opposition coalition.

“It’s a shame that he used national symbols in order save the corrupt regime [of Prime Minister Sali Berisha], which he claims to be fighting,” Rama wrote.

In an interview with the daily Panorama, Spahiu denied seeking to include his party members in the Socialist MP list, and said the disagreement with the Socialist Party was ideological.

“Our two main conditions for a coalition were the removal of the border with Kosovo and a pact to jail Berisha, which were categorically refused,” Spahiu said.  

“Trading MPs or ministers was never discussed,” he added.

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