For the Albanian opposition, the outcome of the May 14th local elections is a carbon copy of the results that it achieved in last year’s partial local elections either through the lens of a majoritarian electoral system, or a proportional one.
According to the majoritarian system, in the partial local elections of 6 March 2022, Sali berisha won only one municipality out of six in total, whereas in the recent local elections, he won in seven municipalities out of 61 in total. In percentage terms, he reached the same result in both elections. The result was also repeated in relation to the official Democratic Party. Berisha and his allies won two thirds of the opposition votes, whereas the official Democratic Party took one third of the opposition votes.
The only difference is that Sali Berisha considered last year’s partial local elections as historic, fair and honest since they served his purpose of removing Lulzim Basha from DP’s leadership. Meanwhile, he claimed that the recent local elections were stolen and unfair because he failed not only in defeating Edi Rama, but is even creating room for Basha’s return.
Two separate elections have produced the same results under the same leadership, while following the exact same standards. In both these elections, Berisha was in alliance with Ilir Meta, whereas Rama and the Socialsits ran on their own. Furthermore, the official Democratic Party competed with a divided leadership in the May 14th local elections. However, the result for Sali Berisha was the same.
Berisha is the only one complaining about the result of the local elections not because it was unexpected for him, but because the same result is producing a completely different outcome when compared with last year’s partial local elections. The same result that during the March 6th partial local elections helped him to remove Lulzim Basha from DP’s leadership has now increased Rama’s power, while it is also facilitating Basha’s return in the Democratic Party.
The reason for Berisha’s change of attitude is because he was the one who should have resigned after last year’s partial local elections. However, Basha’s decision to resign from DP’s leadership was the right one as it left Berisha alone in his struggle against the United States, forcing him to reveal the falseness of his promise that he was going to reunite the party. As it became obvious, Berisha’s only interest was to use the Democratic Party as a political bunker to defend himself.
Now however, he can neither defend himself or Ilir Meta and above all, he cannot defeat either Rama or Basha. Therefore, his anger comes as the result of his inability that, despite achieving similar results, he cannot repeat the demagogy of last year’s local elections. The only thing that he was able to prove this time is that he cannot carry the opposition towards electoral success against Edi Rama. As a matter of fact, he has only allowed him to become ever more powerful and now is doing the same with Lulzim Basha.