Why Is Berisha Assuring Democrats His Daughter Won't Inherit Leadership?

23 Qershor 2024, 21:51Op-Ed Mero Baze

If there is one factor that has significantly undermined Sali Berisha’s attempt to wrest control of the Democratic Party (DP) from Lulzim Basha, it is the appointment of his own daughter, Argita, as the prospective party leader. Her emergence as a contender for the DP’s leadership, seemingly with Berisha’s approval or encouragement, has exposed his three-year-long strategy as deceitful and demagogic.

Those who genuinely believed that Lulzim Basha had been placed within the DP by Edi Rama and the U.S. to undermine the party, those who thought Basha had colluded with the government and the prime minister, those convinced that Basha struck a deal with Rama behind Berisha’s back in 2017, those blaming Basha for the opposition’s parliamentary boycott and the 2019 local election boycott, and those calling for a new DP free from Basha’s influence, can now see the truth. This entire effort has been geared towards installing Argita Berisha as the next leader of the Democratic Party.

As this reality sinks in, thousands of Democrats have ceased supporting Berisha and his children, opting to focus on their own careers, while still discontented with Basha for leaving them and the party in Berisha’s hands.

Meanwhile, Sali Berisha seems aware of this sentiment and is attempting to dispel the notion that his daughter will inherit the party’s leadership. In a recent interview with an online news outlet for the Albanian diaspora in the UK, Berisha claimed that his daughter will compete for the leadership, not inherit it. This statement is a cynical move, as the DP would not be in its current dire situation if internal democracy actually functioned within the party.

While voting has always existed within the DP, genuine elections and competition have not. Therefore, it would be more honest for Berisha to state his intentions directly, as voting is irrelevant if outcomes are predetermined by his loyalists within the party.

However, the very fact that he felt the need to justify his daughter’s ambitions, assuring Democrats that “internal democracy” will decide the next leader, reveals that he has already made up his mind. He is merely attempting to placate party members with the notion of internal democracy, a notion he has exploited for years.

In essence, Berisha is pretending that there is an alternative to a formal voting process for his daughter’s succession. He seems to argue that not appointing her outright is a significant achievement, implying that Albanian Democrats should be grateful and tolerate the chaos he has caused while aiming to replace one leader designated as non-grata by the U.S. Department of State with another, perpetuating the DP’s ongoing agony.

The article initially appeared in Albanian titled: "Pse Berisha po përpiqet të qetësojë demokratët për Argitën?"

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