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President Topi

Game, set and match to Berisha then. In the fourth round of voting the Democratic Party candidate - and vice-chairman of the party - was elected to the post of President with 85 votes. Neritan Ceka, the only other candidate received only 5.

The key difference this time was the presence of 7 opposition MP's who took part in the voting and backed Topi. Ben Blushi, chairman of the Socialist Party in parliament, subsequently resigned from his post and Edi Rama denounced the 7 as 'treacherous.'

Some commentators suggested that this was Nano's revenge. Unable to take the post of President himself, he undermined Rama's leadership in the most effective way he could, by getting his remaining supporters to back Topi.

Was there a deal? In time it may become clearer. Certainly, Berisha was very confident after the third vote that there would be a result in this round and that Topi would win. Of course, that might have been no more than political bluff.

Topi himself is working hard to sound statesmanlike: "I pledge to bring balance to the Albanian political climate and modernise our institutions to make sure we live up to the challenge of joining the European Union and NATO," he said in his speech to parliament following the vote.

The interesting question now is what will happen with Chief Prosecutor Theodhori Sollaku. It was Berisha's insistence on bringing his status into the discussions that led to the collapse of the talks to find a consensus candidate. And it was President Moisiu who resisted previous attempts by Berisha's government to have Sollaku sacked.

Will Berisha now attempt to have Sollaku removed once more? And if he does, will Topi stand in his way?


Anonymous said…
Now that a clone of Berisha is president all bad "laws" that fit them will be passed really easily.

POOR US! It's a dictatorship. This whole process was very dirty.
The PC said…
wow (last)anonymous! brilliant!

apparently nationalism is still a very effective tool of fascism.
I'm amazed at how partisan and blind people are. Last time I checked, Topi was one of the most popular politicians in Albania (if not the most popular) and even Socialists believe that he is a honest and good man. I, for one, am really happy that he is the next president. There is one thing which the president has control over in Albania and that's the judiciary branch. Unfortunately, Moisiu didn't do anything to reform it. I'm not talking about Sollaku here (who I have no opinion about), but about corrupt judges like Gjermeni, who's still in power BTW. Moisiu stopped some unconstitutional laws from coming into effect and he should be recognized for that, but I can't forgive him for not doing anything to cleanse the judicial system of corrupt judges and prosecutors. Hopefully Topi will change that and hopefully Albania will have a decent justice system for once. Again, I'm not talking about Sollaku here, since I have no opinion of him because I don't know enough about him.

Anyway, congrats to Topi and to a new era in the Albanian presidency.
Anonymous said…
It seems that some guys in here ignore the way this guy was elected as a President..
The President off a country first and most must present the unity off Albania.
Sadly he only represent the unity off 2 people SB and FN...Off course he was respected a lot even from Rama , but he let him self to be manipulated in the most worst way that you could think.
A lot of people are very disappointed with him.
There is no argument that the votes for his election are "bought" and don't you dare deny this!!!
The question is, at what price at the back of the Albanian people??
How is president Topi going to meet with his counterpart from Europe and USA? Does he know that credibility cannot be "bought"??
There is some thing that money can not be bought, for anything else is Master Cart...(or should we say Nano-Cart)
What credibility do you talk about? This is politics. All politicians, regardless of country, are selfish and will cross anyone to get where they want to be. This is just part of the game. You'll never get anything done and will never be a good politician if you follow "the rules" all the time. Am I supposed to think that Kouchner will not have any credibility because he sold out and accepted Sarkozy's offer for FM and broke with party ranks? Of course not. Topi will have all the credibility that a president needs. I'm not gonna say that the votes were bought, since I don't have evidence to support or deny that claim. But I'll say this: how do you know the votes were bought? Or just because Rama started saying that, it must be true. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, Nano's supporters voted for him in retaliation since the SP didn't back Nano.

Topi does represent the unity of Albania, since had there been a popular presidential vote he would have won easily. But oh yeah, I forgot that unity of Albania means that Rama has to support it. I'm very glad that Topi won because he was the best candidate and the process was constitutional. This was the best possible outcome, but it's obvious that people who let their party leader think for them, will never see this as positive. Rama is not any better than Berisha when it comes to greediness. Berisha gave him the president in exchange for Sollaku, Rama turned it down because he thought he could have both and for a while it seemed like he would get his way. Unfortunately for him, his plan backfired and he got nothing, but this could have very easily had a different outcome. Rama is very bitter now because he got out maneuvered by Berisha and for a person of his ego, this was a major defeat. Thus all this
b!tching and moaning now.
Anonymous said…
This sucks! Albania will go down the revolutionary road again, if not next year, come election year, it will happen. The next prosecutor will implement the dossiers that the DP has already prepared for the SP and leftist candidates and will try to jail or take them out of politics like they have promised to do so many times. The SP will in turn protest on the street. Another repetion of May 26/06 will go down, only this time with better coverage form ALbanian tv (although Top media will have been closed down by then.)

An albo in Nova: Its not a question whether topi is a good politician or not or loved by the people. You cannot have one party with this much control in a country with such fragile institutions like Albania...hope u've taken enough political science courses outside albania to understand that.

To the fascist anonymous comments: You are very uneducated from the way that you write. If I didnt know any better i'd peg u for a peasant. You should milk cows or breed cattle instead of giving advice on the country's political elite. Please refrain from such 18'th century talk. For you it seems that anyone with an orthodox name is a traitor. If it was up to you we would have all been named Bamir, Sali,. Enver, Jenicer, Sadam and so on!
Anonymous said…
albanian in nova,
I am not going to start arguing with you now. Is clear that you refuse to understand the main point and keep going on about something complete different.
No one from SP says a bad word about Topi till the day he was elected and you can't deny this.
I am not talking about political party here, but for the President of Albania.
He does not represent the Albania unity. You seem to ignore the fact that Rama is the leader off the 40% of the people that vote for him and his party. In top of this you can add the other left party's electorate. That is more than 50%...
How can you say that he does represent all the people?
The thing is non off this supporters like to talk about the way he was elected but they just keep going on how good and gentle guy Topi is. And please don't tell me that this is politics because it is not.
I live in england and this kind of thinks does not happen in here. You talk about France and Kushnier but you again ignore the fact that he went to this government with his party blessing! And again non off the guys that voted for Topi are answering accusation that Rama made against them. One off the papers today even write about the phone calls about SB and FN and the way the votes are "brought".
Non off this guys says anything. Non even a simple declaration for the media!
I am not going to write anymore about this so please dear alb. in nova no need to beat your self about it!
Anonymous said…
"Anyway, congrats to Topi and to a new era in the Albanian presidency. "

yeah, people were mentioning a "new era" in 2005 and saying how amazing Berisha was. We didn't get a new era but the old one from 10 years ago, 97 anyone?
Anonymous said…
People don't be blind and naive.
From a rabbi's "10 ways to marry the wrong person" point number one says:

1. Don't expect the person to change or think that you can change him/her. He will change, but for the worse.

How can you people even think that Berisha, Nano, Mediu, Topi and others will become Tony Blair?!
Anonymous said…
Od course Berisha doesn't want Theodhori Sollaku. Apart from stopping criminals, he is Christian too and God forbid if any Christian gets a job in Albania.
Anonymous said…
"To the fascist anonymous comments"

Oh, it seems I have missed a juicy deleted comment once more.
olli said…
You have to be quick to get the nasty ones before I zap them.
You guys are hilarious.

Regarding Kouchner, you do realize that he was shunned from his party after he became FM, right? What blessing are you talking about? But why let the truth stand in your way?
Do you want more examples like that? Lieberman was a Democratic presidential candidate in the US, but after he backed the Iraq war, against his party's desires, he lost the democratic senate primary, but then was elected as an independent with Republican votes. I guess he doesn't have any credibility either according to you? And this is all politics. Once you actually learn a little bit more how things work, maybe you can come and argue with facts rather than emotions. Things like this happen all over the world, even in England. Lobbying for votes is normal. Get over it. And open your eyes and stop saying that Rama is the leader of 40% of Albanians. He's not. Nor was Berisha the leader of 40% (or whatever that percentage was) of Albanians during the time when he wasn't in power. The leader of Albanians is only the government in power. People like you who claim that Rama is their leader are just showing that they identify more with their party, rather than the nation. Topi was elected through a constitutional and legitimate process. End of story. If you can present facts that what was done was illegal in any way, I'm willing to take back anything I said.

Stop with this non-sense scare tactics. Nothing will happen next year or the year after. And I don't need you to question my political knowledge especially when you state false claims as the truth. Fragile democracies like Albania need strong governments. That's a fact. The main reason why Albania hasn't prospered much is exactly because of all the political bickering going on. And since you like to portray yourself as someone who knows politics, do you care to check the progress of Eastern European countries after the fall of communism. Now, check the countries that did the best and see what they have in common and how that was different from the rest. You'll find that the answer was a strong government that pushed through radical reforms. It was called shock therapy. That never happened in Albania, partly because the opposition (both the SP and DP) tried to undermine the reforms of the government, even those that were good for the country. I think that right now, Albania has the best chance to push through some radical reforms that are so desparately needed.
Anonymous said…
My dear albo in nova. You think you understand politics and are familiar with historical facts. However, your knowledge comes from newspapers, and we all know that the problem with that is that we choose which paper to read and what to believe.

Now, Albania my brother went through shock therapy from 92-96. Thats what the reforms by the first berisha (then president) gov't were all about. If you pick up any book written on the history of economics for east-central europe by an established author you will see that that is what they all cite as shock therapy for albania. Most writers conclude that it was the wrong move for a country with 3 million people and the poorest in the region, simply because the people in charge of these swift economic reforms were so inadequate and so unprepared that the population at large suffered a severe blow. You only need to look at a few of the sectors of the economy to see in what a stupid manner they were then divided or sold.

Finally Albo in Nova, A gov't that allows piramyd schemes to flurish despite the protests from Governer of the Bank of Albania and repeated warnings from the IMF to close down on the illegal schemes, cannot be brought to power again and hope that they will reform the country by shock therapy and swift reforms.

Ponzi schemes are taught at the first year university level in the second lecture of ECO101 at any western university in the world. Not only professors, politicians and economists, but even simple students know their fault and illegality. You are telling me, that Albania needs a strong gov't to operate shock therapy on the economy; a gov't made up of the same people that not only failed to close down but promoted illegal schemes in the 90's?

You must be truly mad and your political knowledge should be questioned by everyone. If this is how a DP supporter thinks. Then GOD HELP ALBANIA!
Try again. My knowledge about post communist history doesn't come from newspapers as you claim, but from facts. Not to blow my own horn, but I don't need you to question my credentianls on the subject seeing as I studied in one of the top colleges in the world, and while my major was engineering, I also minored in European studies. Go read the books again. I can provide you with a list if you want. Shock therapy never happened in Albania, since no real reforms were ever undertaken, and the first DP government carries most of the blame for this. But it seems like we agree on this point, since even you say that no real reforms ever took place. So when did this shock therapy happen? I hope that you know that shock therapy refers to swift and painful reforms in the short term, but very successful in the long term. And I stand by what I said before, a strong government is needed to push through with new policies, which might find a lot of opposition but are crucial to the future prosperity of Albania. If Topi doesn't abide by the constitution in his reforms, I'll be the first to voice my objection. But until (if it happens at all) that happens, I'll stay optimistic and hope for the best.

Now you can talk about pyramid schemes all you want, and you want find me defending that, but get over it already. That was more than 10 years ago and DP came to power fair and square. And by the same token, I should claim that socialists are responsible for all that went wrong in Albania during the communist rule, since technically it's the same party.
And as I said before, people will have a chance again in 2 yrs to get rid of the democrats if they so desire. So don't worry, you don't have to pray for Albania. It will be just fine.
Anonymous said…
Nova, since you did not read my previous post carefully and did not cite anything real from it, I must cocnlude that you found none of the facts wrong.
The so called shock therapy (a term used by economists for swift Economic reforms) occured in the early 90's when the first democratically elected gov't came to power in Albania. The market was liberilized to the greatest extent and every sector of the then non-existing market economy was put under rampant reforms. The Meksi gov't failed however and by the mid 90's (94-95) Albania relied solely on money from emigres (which even today counts for a lot) and illegal businesses. There was the oil business with Yugoslavia since it was under sanctions. The gov't was in total control. WE did have a very strong gov't taht could pretty much put through any reforms that they wanted but instead focused on keeping the opposition silent. The police were very pro gov't as well and ShIK was used to intimidate the official opposition. If you do not agree with this, then forget the whole thing. After the Dayton accord, sanctions were lifted against Yugoslavia, so that meant that the illegal oil business would not be as profitable. That is when pyramid schemes flourished the most in Albania by raising the Interest Rate to attract more investors and of course increase their profits.

Now, you believe that a gov't made up of the same people who were so inadequate a decade ago, can perform shock therapy on the albanian economy? What do you base that on? The SP (although still trying to fight its past) has reformed several times and has undergone several changes. The DP has still the same leader in charge for 16 years. As far as commies are concerned, BOTH parties emerged from the former party of Labour. These politicians were all members of the PPSH in communist times.

And lastly, the right and the left need to always balance each other NOVA. You cant have all branches of gov't be left wing or right wing. These two factions will always survive as neccesities to one another. If you try and shut one down by blackmailing it, it will lead to the other one being extrimest (either fascist or communist.) I hope you understand where I'm coming from here!

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