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More Elections

In the soap opera of Albanian politics today's episode should be about the election of a new President. The first of up to five votes is scheduled for today, though there is no guarantee that it will go ahead.

The two leading candidates are Bamir Topi who is the nominee of the ruling Democratic Party, and Fatos Nano who has the support of some members of the Socialist Party, which he once led, but not of current leader, Edi Rama.

To win, one candidate must get the support of three-fifths of the members of parliament. The problem is that no one party or coalition can reach that target without outside support. If no candidate can get that support after the process is completed then, under the constitution, there has to be a general election.

Previously the Socialists had considered boycotting the election in order to force early elections. This, in turn, gave rise to speculation that Berisha and Nano - old political enemies - had done a deal whereby the Democrats would back Nano. These votes, together with those of his allies in the Socialist Party would give him the Presidency and Berisha's government would survive.

The internationals are horrified at the prospect of a general election after all the problems with the recent local elections - problems that remain unresolved. A general election forced on the country as a result of partisan maneuvering over the Presidency would be worse still.


bletebzz said…
hmm, i finally understood what the big hoopla is all about. Our newspapers have been yelling so much, i can never understand a word they were writting.
olli said…
Glad to be of service. I'm confident of the broad details - but I imagine it will get more confusing from now on.
Unknown said…
the required majority to elect a president is three fifths, of course, not two fifth, of which the current coalition is about ten seats short...
olli said…
Thanks Stefan. Glad to see that someone reads these posts carefully.
Anonymous said…
The 'internationals' are horrified at a snap election in a country where the population has no addresses and no id-s? Who would have guessed?:)

why dont they just abolish the country altogether, and put it under the management of a private equity firm? KKR comes to mind. Doubtful the price Albania could fetch would be more than 3 times its government income. I'm sure KKR can scrape $6 billion and turn it Albania into a summer camp.
Anonymous said…
The president should not be corrupt. Hence, he should have not been part of the old elite. That leaves the young inside the country, and Albos raised and educated outside. The young dont have the experience neccessary to be president. So, I think a mature and accomplished albanian from abroad, perhaps one who has kept in touch with politics in the country should preside over the presidency. The masachusets albanian community comes to mind. I like peter prifti (if he's still and there's a couple of other albanian historians and intellectuals who were born in the states but have written extensively on the country throughout the years. With the current corruption going on in all levels of government in albania, a uncurraptable soul to keep the balance is needed.

ps. i myself, dont see why they want to get rid of moisiu, the guy has done a fine job! But of course, I am one of those uncorruptable souls and don't see the other point of view where political parties need to pass certain laws in parlaiment no matter how authoritarian and want a president who can close an eye to it.
Anonymous said…
I like peter prifti (if he's still

Peter Prifti is a senile octogenarian. Besides, to be eligible for the president's office one has to have lived in Albania for the 5 years preceding his presidential bid.

I do agree that Moisiu has done his job well. The only fault I see with him is the deluge of medals he's been awarding, a practice which is quite inflationary to the value of the afforementioned medals.
Anonymous said…
"Besides, to be eligible for the president's office one has to have lived in Albania for the 5 years preceding his presidential bid."

They must really change that. It rules out most of the non-corrupt

Yes, the value of medals has been quite inflationary during moisius term in office.
Anonymous said…
oh no, elections again.
It's a recipe for more chaos. Typical serbo-Berishism. Every time Kosovo has negotiation talks, Berisha wants the same for Albania. Just go to Serbia please and do fake negotiations like your brothers.
What did you guys expect when "Berisha 2" came to power? More mess, nothing achieved, stagnancy for 2 years, people arguing, tension, clan culture, crime going up, democracy index going down, ... etc etc. Big headaches, more poverty!
Anonymous said…
Medal inflation is the last thing we should worry about, when it comes to selecting the president. I like Moisiu too, but I think he's fallen out favor with Berisha for sometime now, so it's doubtful he can find the required support in Kuvend. I would like to see Godo's name in the candidate's list, he's wise enough to be heard by both parties and has enough authority not to be a pushover.

Topi is a partisan figure and Nano ... oh my God, it would be a nightmare to have both Nano and Berisha in power.
Anonymous said…
buyout idea is interesting but it KKR would have to put the whole 6 billion in equity - would be hard for any bank to put leverage on the seriously KKR, Carlyle or T.Lee could put together a couple of billion in a fund and buy every piece of asset thats left in Albania and not let those corrupt politicians play around any more...

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