Popular Summer Day Turns into 'Flexing Muscle' by Albania's Political Strongmen

Editor's note

At the same square and at the same time the most important politicians of Albania, PM Edi Rama and head of the United opposition Lulzim Basha produced another show of the hostility between the two political camps in this Balkan country on the occasion of celebrating separately the popular Summer Day with the citizens of Elbasan on March 14.
Even in popular celebrations there is no armistice; on the contrary Albanian political strongmen tested their 'power' in the most undemocratic spirit spoiling a celebration which is very special particularly for the citizens of Elbasan which, as it is said, is the cradle of this pagan celebration to welcome Summer.
What the TV cameras showed some of them broadcasting live the moments of tension started when a group of people waited for the PM to enter the city with shouts "Rama go!", while a few meters away, the leader of DP, Lulzim Basha held meetings with citizens.
While some DP supporters kept shouting "Rama go!", the prime minister who was passing along with native MPs and local officials nearby made signs by hand to them to approach him. The footage further shows the moment of the aggravation of the situation when DP sympathizers shouting "Rama go" are faced with insults and curses of the SP sympathizers. At a moment when a person, who seemed elderly falls to the ground and is brutally violated, then DP militants intervene.
To calm down the situation, the intervention of the police was needed, who accompanied several people to the local police station.
Democrat leader Lulzim Basha said after the incidents that the one who provoked was Prime Minister Edi Rama, who was accompanied by gangs, warning him not to threaten citizens.
On the other hand, Rama said that the leader of the Democratic Party is talking nonsense and that people had come to Elbasan with party flags, asking Basha to separate from President Ilir Meta and former Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
"It is unfortunate that even in his last weeks, as he has done for the past 8 years, he (Rama) provoked the city of Elbasan by showing the despair that has gripped him and his criminal friends. But the time when the city and the citizens of Elbasan were under Edi Rama's criminal activities are over! It will neither frighten us nor stop us! We are determined to do everything to bring about the change that Albanians expect," Basha said after the incidents.
In Sunday's message on Summer Day President Ilir Meta, who has become one of the harshest critics of the Rama government and a strong accuser of PM for corruption, it is noticed that "Winter" and "Spring" are not accidentally highlighted in capital letters and they follow suit  President's calls of full hope for the elections of April 25, 2021 that "Red and Back Spring is coming".
But as if Albanian politicians have no other business in their offices, the government head Rama turned to Twitter right away on Sunday noon as soon as he went to Tirana retorting to his adversaries.
"This vulgar show is another example of the degradation of an outdated opposition, which is led by a puppet in the hands of Sali & Ilir, who want hassle and disruption to take hostage Albania and justice!" said Rama.
Elections will be held on April 25 this year in Albania and Elbasan events are an added evidence that the expectations for a calm atmosphere as the official electoral campaign will kick off in a few days are disappointing. The warning of President Meta on an attempt of a coup d'etat after the storming by police forces to evacuate forcefully the offices of the opposition New Democratic Spirit party on Saturday upon an order of Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj should be taken at its face value.
Freezing winds seem to be blowing although spring is coming to Albania as general elections are approaching amidst an aggravating deadly pandemic with rising fatalities and infections as vaccination of the population seems to be more like a government electoral show than real action when 660 people are fully vaccinated since January 11 this year.

/argumentum.al

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