Is boycotting Sali Berisha a revolt against him?

16 Prill 2023, 22:03Op-Ed Mero Baze

In order to be transparent regarding the participation in the opening of Sali Berisha’s electoral campaign, we must note that there are two different numbers. There is the number of participants during Belind Kellici’s speech and the number of participants during that of Sali Berisha.

Now, during Belind Kellici’s speech, there were about 5000 people in the stadium, which is close to the number of people who participated in the founding convent of Berisha’s party in December 2021. However, as soon as Berisha set foot in the podium, not only did people leave, but even the ones who remained there seemed not to be paying attention to his speech. There were probably less than 400 people in the stadium during Berisha’s speech, at least ten times less than those who had been there for Belind Kellici and it seemed as if they had been forgotten there.

These are two realities that need to be accepted as they are proven through videos and pictures. What should be discussed on the other hand is if Berisha’s abandonment is sign of an inner revolt within his party, or if it was staged by certain groups in his party that do not support his leadership. If we are in a situation where Berisha’s own party has realized the lack of perspective under his leadership and hence wanted to give him a public lecture, this would be an important step as well as an opportunity for the Democratic Party to reunite in the future and become once again a serious political force in Albania. It is even better if this conclusion has been reached with the help of Gabriel Esobar’s statements, who considered Sali Berisha as Albania’s past.

Therefore, it would be good news if Berisha’s abandonment came instinctively to the people who had been called to participate in the opening of the electoral campaign as a way of showing that they are not his foot soldiers, but rather members of the opposition who seek to come to power one day.

The second and most likely option is that the entire thing was orchestrated by Belind Kellici’s and Ilir Meta’s supporters who wanted to show Sali Berisha his place. Through a very symbolic gesture they showed that Kellici and Meta can have a lot more people listening than Berisha.

Despite which option is true, it is now clear that Berisha’s abandonment has made his supporters even more nervous and they are threatening anyone who shares photos or videos of the empty stadium in social media as well as in the mainstream media. Personally, I thought that they had completely forgotten about me, but in the recent days I have received a wave of threats.

Apparently, neither Berisha nor his supporters were prepared for how quickly this day would arrive. Furthermore, what happened was not even done to them by Edi Rama. They either abandoned Berisha on their own, or there is a group who feels that its future is being hampered by him. Despite which one it is, the abandonment came from within Sali Berisha’s people and they cannot blame Edi Rama or Lulzim Basha about it.

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