Analysis 31 May 17

Internal Strife Weakens Albania’s Democrats in Election

The decision of Democratic Party chief Lulzim Basha to ditch party veterans from his MPs’ list could take its toll on the party’s results on election day - and even split it.

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Tirana
Opposition leader Lulzim Basha. Photo: Basha's Facebook page

The three-month-long protest by Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party, PD, which eventually forced Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama to agree to form a “technical” government ahead of the elections, was widely deemed a good deal for the opposition.

But what seemed to be a perfect turn of events for the Democrats soon turned into challenging one for the party leader, Lulzim Basha.

After his decision to submit an MPs’ list that left out many prominent veterans, the strife in the party may deter voters on election day - and even split the party, observers say.

The furor all started in the first hours of Saturday, when Basha and his close aides, just before the Central Election Commission deadline expired, submitted a short version of the party’s list of would-be MPs for the June 25 election.

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