Sali Berisha's third battle against the Democratic Party

18 Maj 2023, 20:51Op-Ed Mero Baze

Sali Berisha has launched his third battle against the Democratic Party. The first battle was against the party’s former leader, Lulzim Basha. In his struggle to take over the Democratic Party’s leadership and use it in his fight against the United States, Berisha needed to remove Basha from his position as party leader. Despite failing in the legal processes, Berisha succeeded in dividing the party as well as in causing a massive confusion, which resulted even in physical confrontation between the two factions.

With Ilir Meta’s help, Berisha organized the partial local elections of 6 March 2022, which he claimed to be a political test regarding the popularity of the Democratic Party’s leadership. At the end of the electoral process, Basha was considered defeated and hence resigned from the party’s leadership.

However, even after Basha’s resignation, the Democratic Party still did not align itself with Sali Berisha. Therefore, allying up with Ilir Meta, he launched his second battle against his former party, now led by Enekelejd Alibeaj. During the local elections of May 14th, which were considered by most Democrats as a battle against Edi Rama, Berisha made Alibeaj the main target of his attacks. Following the deep winning of the Socialists, Berisha not only did not appear upset, but continued to intensify his attacks against Alibeaj, forcing him to resign as leader of the Albanian Democrats.

Today Sali Berisha is determined to launch his third battle against a Democratic Party that has not yet elected its new leader. Those who resisted him with dignity during the electoral campaign, like Roland Bejko or Enkelejd Alibeaj, are now trying to survive within the party. However, today’s Democratic Party is a mix of names and political stances, which amidst the confusion, do not know how to handle their battle against Sali Berisha. While some believe that they should make peace with him, there are 300 thousand Democrats who rejected Berisha’s offer in the May 14th local elections and they are a lot more lucid than the 30 MPs on whose hands the party’s future relies.

As a matter of fact, several of Berisha’s candidates during the primaries realized a lot better what should be done. They chose to stand by Berisha's side only because of their pragmatic political interests and realized at the end, that he was their political misfortune. Promising political figures like Igli Cara, Belind Kellici, Luciano Boci or Bardh Spahia lost in the local elections only because they represented Sali Berisha, whose crimes weigh heavy on the consciousness of thw Albanian society. They are among the latest sacrificed by Berisha, but at the asme time remain more self-conscious about their political stances when compared to the official Democratic Party.

Aware of the fact that he cannot regain the trust of the people, Sali Berisha is now trying to focus his battle in the Democratic Party’s leadership, hoping to appear as a winner, even though his failures run ever deeper.

In his first battle against the Democratic Party, Berisha defeated Lulzim Basha. During his second battle, he defeated Enkelejd Alibeaj. While I cannot say who he is going to defeat in his third battle, what can be said for sure is that, if he continues down this path, Edi Rama will remain Prime Minister for a much longer time.

When he cheers after winning his final battle, no one will be left in the Democratic Party to applaud for Sali Berisha. He will simply look like an old, senile man roaming in the streets talking to himself.

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