Berisha's candidates are now his enemies

16 Maj 2023, 20:59Op-Ed Mero Baze

Sali Berisha wasted several minutes on Tuesday trying to explain that his candidate for the Vau i Dejes municipality, Zef Hila has not accepted that he lost the elections against his Socialist opponent, even though it was broadcasted by the media that Hila congratulated his opponent for the electoral success.

Berisha took a tremendous amount of time to explain that Hila’s congratulation was not really that and it that it does not imply that he has accepted his loss. His anger could be easily read by the public. For Sali Berisha, Zef Hila is now a traitor and since he cannot say this openly, he is trying to shift the public’s opinion regarding the truth. This is the kind of anger that he has shown many times during his political career.

When Edi Rama defeated Besnik Mustafaj in the 2000 local elections for the municipality of Tirana, Mustafaj accepted that he lost and left Albania for a few months in order to participate in a writer’s program abroad. Berisha’s anger was so great, that he would send groups of 50 people every night to protest in Tirana’s center, only so that he could deny Mustafaj’s statement, even though the candidate had already left Albania.

The same anger resurfaced in 2007 when, following his loss against Edi Rama for the municipality of Tirana, Sokol Olldashi congratulated his opponent publicly, thus implying that he had issues with his own party.

Now Berisha’s anger seems even more intense as he is the one who has deeply lost and the fact that his candidates are accepting the electoral failure makes him feel betrayed by them. This is all tied to the fact that he is not willing to accept the reality and does not intend to resign from his invasion of the Albanian opposition. Therefore, his only fear at the moment is caused by his own candidates.

Belind Kellici’s statement was also a warning message for Berisha, since he admitted that the deep loss in the local elections requires a deep and cold-headed analysis in order to find the responsibilities of each individual, including his own.

In the meantime, there is an obvious difference between the candidates who accepted their failure and Sali Berisha. They are now abandoned and outside any political sphere, whereas Berisha wants them to remain his loyal foot soldiers in his invasion of the opposition. Zef Hila, Belind Kellici and Luciano Boci resigned from their positions as MPs in order to run for mayors and this is a political gesture to be admired, even though they saw this as a way out of Berisha’s command.

Berisha’s recent statement, in which he explained that Zef Hila has not accepted the result of the elections, is simply a call for all other candidates not to accept their loss, since this would mean his abandonment. Therefore we should not be surprised by the length of his speech and his efforts to convince us that Zef Hila has not accepted his failure and that he did no really congratulate his opponent. Berisha simply needs his candidates as loyal foot soldiers for a little longer. If prior to the May 14th elections he needed them in order to be part of the electoral race, today he needs them to accompany him to his political tomb.

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