Analysis 13 Jun 17

Albania’s Big Parties Turn On LSI ‘Kingmakers’

Resentful of its privileged role in coalitions, Albania’s Socialists and Democrats are training their hostile fire on the LSI, hoping to restore the old two-party duopoly. 

Fatjona Mejdini
Former LSI chairman, elected President, Ilir Meta during a party convention in May. Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra

Albania’s Prime Minister, Edi Rama makes sure in every election meeting to ask his supporters a favour: “Vote for the Socialist Party alone, to have the sole [steering] wheel on the country’s direction.”

For weeks now, in every meeting, he has been hammering home the message that the smaller parties see their representation in public office as a kind of “a cake to be shared out” and not as a national responsibility.

The message is that Rama wants to be rid of the burden of co-government with his Socialist Party’s smaller partner, the Socialist Movement for Integration, LSI, and so be free to pursue reforms without conditions.

He is not the only one using strong words against the LSI, however. His main rival, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha is doing just the same, lambasting the party as a “bloodsucker” in his own electoral meetings. 

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