Now it is obvious why Ilir Meta speaks against vote-buying

11 Maj 2023, 00:24Op-Ed Mero Baze

The former Socialist Movement for Integration is, even during this electoral campaign, responsible for the first two cases of vote-buying and threatening of Albanian voters. In Tirana two individuals were caught negotiating the price of votes, while in Memaliaj, Ilir Meta’s candidate was campaigning under the company of well-known influential people, who were threatening people not to participate in Sunday’s voting.

These are only two cases for which police was informed, but they hide an entire methodology of electoral campaigning based on vote-buying and the use of criminals to threaten people. Now, as if this was not enough, Ilir Meta is the most verbal politician against such methods. He shamelessly speaks against these things on a daily basis, even though he has set to work bandits and vote-buyers across the country.

Unfortunately, in Albania’s political history, the parties that have turned to vote-buying are the ones that have sought to increase their power and become a political factor. While the Socialist Party and the Democratic Party at times have fallen to the use of similar tactics, their candidates in general have relied on genuine electoral support. They might have used the privilege of political power or the party’s name according to their interests, but there have been very few cases of vote-buying.

The Socialist Movement for Integration remains the symbol of vote-buying in Albania. Its candidates have been involved in several such cases during different electoral campaigns. Even during the 2021 parliamentary elections, certain SMI militants were arrested because they tried to bribe voters.

The only explanation as why Ilir Meta is the only politician, who speaks against vote-buying on a daily basis, while employing this as his campaign tactic, is that he does not want to lose exclusivity in regards to this. While everyone might think that he is truly worried about vote-buying or the use of criminals in electoral campaigns, truth is that he does not want anyone else but him to employ such electoral tactics.

Furthermore, no one can blame him about his concern. Shady electoral tactics have been employed by him since 2001 when he destroyed the entire electoral process through money and the use of bandits. Therefore, he does not want to lose the exclusivity of his invention.

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