Berisha's Defiance of the U.S. Serves as a Warning to His Followers

21 Maj 2024, 21:33Op-Ed Mero Baze

On Tuesday, Sali Berisha responded to mounting pressure from the U.S. about his party's present and future. First, he addressed an interview by Gabriel Escobar, the Special Representative to the Western Balkans, who cautioned against the opposition selecting leaders who evoke memories of Albania's turbulent past.

Criticizing Escobar’s remarks, Berisha insisted that the Democratic Party stands with him and that no one can remove him from its leadership. Although this appears to be a response to the U.S., it is actually aimed at his supporters. Berisha wants to assure them that he will never allow anyone outside his family to lead the party, effectively turning it into his family’s fiefdom.

Meanwhile, Berisha's second response was directed at both U.S. officials and Albanian Democrats. He shared a clip from a recent interview with his daughter, Argita Berisha, in which she admitted she would take over the party's leadership in the future. This statement was meant to address the U.S. diplomats and anyone joining Berisha's party with hopes of leading it after his passing. Essentially, he made it clear that the party will remain within his family even after he is gone. This message leaves no room for doubt for both the U.S. and Berisha's loyal supporters.

However, when U.S. officials express their desire for the Democratic Party to move beyond Berisha's control, they are referring to individuals capable of critical and independent thinking who can influence the opposition. Therefore, the opposition's claims of unity in diversity or other reasons are simply self-deception.

Supporting Sali Berisha during these challenging times is not forbidden, nor is sacrificing one's political career for him. However, the opposition must recognize that they are acting in Berisha’s personal interests, not to bring their party to power or oust the government.

Berisha’s faction will remain in politics as long as he lives and perhaps for a short time after, under his children's leadership. However, this faction will never win elections; it will only serve as political defense for Berisha.

Anyone willing to sacrifice their political careers for Berisha is free to do so, but they cannot claim that this sacrifice will bring the opposition to power. The opposition’s path to power does not go through Berisha, whose direction is a dead end.

Therefore, any support for Berisha is essentially support for keeping the current government in power. Those accusing former Democrats who have formed their own parties of helping Edi Rama by not supporting Berisha are ignoring the fact that Berisha’s loyal followers are the ones actually helping Rama stay in power by remaining loyal to Berisha.

The article initially appeared in Albanian titled: "Berisha sulmon SHBA, të dëgjojë rrugica"

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