The crushing of Sali Berisha by Albanian voters

14 Maj 2023, 21:58Op-Ed Mero Baze

Sunday’s elections have brought to an end a two-year-long speculation by Sali Berisha, who during his anti-American struggle in Albania usurped the opposition, claiming that Lulzim Basha had sold it and that he was going to bring back its dignity.

Looking at the participation level in Sunday’s local elections and according to preliminary observations, it has become clear that the majority of voters belong to the Socialist Party and that Sali Berisha risks breaking a historic record of losing for the opposition. Political voting, which is important in elections is a lost battle for Berisha. Even if his coalition manages to win in smaller and not-too-important municipalities, this will be mainly thanks to the reputation and popularity of the specific candidates, rather than what Berisha represents in political terms.

Furthermore, Berisha is way too far even from the results of the 2015 local elections when Lulzim Basha led the Democrats in an electoral battle against a broad coalition made up by the Socialist Party, the Socialist Movement for Integration, Christian Democrats and several other center or left wing parties. Hence the only positive result for Berisha would be if we were to draw comparisons with the 2019 elections, which the Democratic Party boycotted. A comparison with the 2019 local elections would be the only one where Berisha can boast of having won a few mandates.

The political crushing of Sali Berisha from the Albanian society and the Democrats is a clear message that Albanians do not accept his anti-West demagogy, nor do they agree with his efforts to usurp the opposition in order to use it for political protection. Berisha heading to the polling station accompanied by his family of thieves to tell Albanians that we should “either accept them as they are, or there will be no Democratic Party anymore,” finally took an answer on Sunday. It is a clear answer that spans from North to South, which shows that even when thieves band together, they do not gain power, but only become more obvious as thieves.

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