How Advocates for Inner Democracy Within the DP Became Pawns in Berisha's Loyalty Game

3 Mars 2024, 20:08Op-Ed TEMA
How Advocates for Inner Democracy Within the DP Became Pawns in Berisha's

In recent times, it's easy to overlook the origins of Sali Berisha's political movement within the opposition. He initially accused Lulzim Basha of losing legitimacy as chairman of the Democratic Party, asserting that the majority of the party's leadership was appointed rather than elected by Democrat voters. Berisha pursued this strategy knowing that most Democrats wouldn't support his anti-U.S. stance. Thus, he needed a new cause, framing it as a battle against Basha, to garner support despite being designated persona non grata by the U.S. State Department.

Over the following two years, the Democratic Party became increasingly divided, with internal conflicts descending into farcical episodes. Berisha's anti-U.S. agenda was camouflaged as a fight for greater democracy within the party. As events unfolded between Berisha and Basha, legal proceedings ensued, leading to Basha's resignation as party chairman and subsequent reinstatement.

In a pivotal move against Basha's return, Berisha initiated a process he termed "reunification." He enticed dissenting members from Basha's camp into his own faction, offering Gazmend Bardhi the leadership of his faction's parliamentary group. This process culminated in the faction convening outside the Democratic Party headquarters, with new deputies joining Berisha's ranks.

What began as a struggle for voting rights within the Democratic Party morphed into Berisha appointing individuals based on personal interests, devoid of competition or democratic procedures. It became evident that Berisha treated his faction as a personal fiefdom, recruiting loyalists and rewarding them with higher positions.

Clearly, it didn't take two years of internal strife within the opposition to see the direction things were heading. It was evident right from the moment Berisha entrusted leadership to individuals like Flamur Noka. Berisha's true agenda, using the battle against Lulzim Basha as a front for his anti-U.S. stance, was apparent from the outset.

It is crucial for Berisha's recruits to grasp this reality, considering they've invested two years of effort ostensibly advocating for internal democracy. Suddenly, Berisha offers them higher positions as a reward for their loyalty. Interestingly, they appear content with being appointed by Berisha personally rather than being voted in. They eagerly await further rewards, such as potential candidacy in upcoming general elections. However, until then, they're expected to demonstrate unwavering loyalty and service to Berisha.

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