Why Sali Berisha cannot celebrate the resignation of his opponents?

31 Mars 2023, 20:48Op-Ed Mero Baze

Sali Berisha succeeded in blackmailing and forcing to surrender several of Enkelejd Alibeaj’s candidates in the upcoming local elections. However, even though Berisha’s supporters seemed enthusiastic regarding this success, their leader does not seem as happy as them.

On Friday, Berisha blamed once again Edi Rama and Lulzim Basha for the division in the Democratic Party. In reality, Berisha still has to face thirteen candidates from 61 municipalities in total. The thirteen are running for municipalities, whose voters are not traditionally Democratic. Hence, the Democratic Party’s chances to succeed in the said municipalities are slim. In other words, none of Alibeaj’s current thirteen candidates will cause Berisha’s potential loss in the local elections.

It appears that Sali Berisha has practically an open field regarding the election of mayors, even though he still sounds angry in public. Why can he not celebrate the apparent increasing chances of electoral success?

Firstly, unlike two weeks ago when the Democratic Party claimed that it would have candidates running in all 61 municipalities, he now does not have any excuses for a potential electoral failure. Berisha’s candidates practically do not face any opponents within the opposition. Therefore, sensing the looming failure, Berisha is trying to paint the picture that the Democratic Party is running against him in order to destroy him. However, the Democratic Party is practically not running with any candidates for mayor. More than seeking to win, DP’s current candidates are running to represent the anti-Berishian spirit and tell the electorate not to despair.

Secondly, Berisha feels hopeless as he is witnessing that the Democratic Party continues to hold up the spirit of resistance against him. It is not important anymore who articulates the anti-Berishian sentiments as long as the anti-Berishian electorate has an alternative to vote for in the ballot. Despite the candidates, Berisha is now realizing that Democrats who are against him will never vote for him.

Thirdly, Berisha is now seeing how his candidates’ votes are closely related to his electorate. Even though he tried to forge a broad coalition, including individuals known for their ties to the Communist regime, Berisha is realizing that neither the grey electorate, nor the independent opposition is going to vote for him.

It is rather absurd that, on one hand Berisha accuses Enekelejd Alibeaj for collaborating with the Socialists regarding the law on transparency of the former Communist representatives, while he himself signs a deal with the last leader of the Communist Party of Albania. Berisha is proving that, despite the lack of morals in his political alliances, he still fears electoral failure.

Therefore, the resignation of Alibeaj’s candidates does not help Berisha’s cause that much and even less help can he find in the members of his coalition. Instead of growing, they are shrinking together. The coalition’s name should be changed from “Together We Win,” to “Together we will be annihiliated.”


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