Sali Berisha as a mayoral candidate

10 Prill 2023, 20:54Op-Ed Mero Baze

Every day at 12:00 PM, almost all TV Channels broadcast Sali Berisha’s press conference, only to rush a few hours later to live broadcast also the meetings where he is supposed to present his next candidate for the local elections and where the candidate seems to be the least important person. All of Berisha’s public appearances seem to focus on him and his opponent, Erion Veliaj.

During Monday’s speech, Berisha commented almost every detail regarding Erion Veliaj’s campaign. He criticized the current mayor of Tirana, claiming that Veliaj has achieved nothing during his time in office, while attacking all of his promises. Furthermore, he accused the Democratic Party’s candidates, saying that they are also running for Veliaj.

Now, why would Sali Berisha speak in Belind Kellici’s name? The claim that Kellici cannot say the same kind of nonsense because he fears being embarrassed in public is rather unrealistic. He has made much more banal statements in the past. It is also unrealistic to think that he might be trying to maintain his profile as an intellectual, since he is not really saying anything cleverer than Berisha. When it comes to making banal statements and embarrassing oneself in public, this seems to be Berisha’s territory.

On the other hand, it is hard to believe that Kellici fears that he might lose the public support if speaks nonsense, since Berisha’s voice is much more impactful and hence can cause greater damage in the electorate. The only sensible answer therefore seems to be that Sali Berisha is acting himself as a candidate in order to measure the support that he enjoys in the electorate.

Unfortunately for Belind Kellici, he must now carry the burden of Berisha’s anti-American battle and listen for hours at time as his voters attack the US Ambassador. Sali Berisha does not care anymore for Kellici’s campaign or any other candidate’s campaign. Personally, I hope that Shkelzen Berisha will at least pay the costs of this campaign for Berisha’s candidates, since they practically are not allowed to have their voice heard in public.

The only issue with Berisha’s protagonist sense is that, considering how seriously he is taking himself as mayoral candidate and that he is going to lose on May 14th, he will not be able to run for the Prime Minister’s office during the 2025 elections. At most, he can aim to be the director of a small city office, even though he will need to be appointed by Erion Veliaj in that position.

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