Will DP’s Basha Sell Out the Leader Who Made Him Leader?

Editor’s take

"The biggest problem that is happening to the Democratic Party (DP) these days is the fact that (Sali) Berisha's fanatics have turned anti-American," has said the member of the DP National Assembly, who ran against the current chairman, Lulzim Basha for the leading post but lost badly.

Kadilli, part of the group who have demanded the resignation of DP chairman Lulzim Basha after the loss of the April 25 general elections, made that statement on Saturday in a comment on the meeting of Basha with the US Ambassador, Yuri Kim who has asked the Democrat leader to oust the founder of DP and first president of Albania after the fall of the communist dictatorship in the early 1990s, Sali Berisha, from the parliamentary group of the largest opposition force next September.

Kadilli called for a new opposition free from any legacy which holds it hostage. "It is not a pleasant situation for any democrat or Albanian. No democrat feels good about declaring Berisha persona non-grata (by the US). We should have clarity. And we get to the point when the demand comes in the form of pressure and today's leader does not have the courage but pretends as if the issue does not exist; it is shameful. It will be a shame for him to make sacrificial gestures for his chair," Kadilli said.

The target of the US State Department, Sali Berisha, has spoken four times within two days in direct response to the US Ambassador making it very clear to the DP, Albanian public opinion and Kim that he does not intend to relinquish his parliamentarian mandate and will take his seat in September.

"I am an MP who will go and sit proudly at my seat having a greater motivation than ever. What decision the ambassadors will make is their job," Berisha said on Saturday.

In addition, he revealed that he spoke on Saturday with Basha after the statement of the US ambassador. Berisha stressed that he neither said anything to him nor asked anything.

"I spoke to Basha after Yuri Kim's statements. Basha did not say anything to me nor did I ask for anything. I am in my mission entrusted by the citizens, because the DP cannot violate the rights and freedoms of citizens. I invite any representative of the United States and any other person to present true facts against me, but they do not exist," said Berisha. He further added that he is not putting the DP chairman in difficult position, but states that a party does not deserve to exist if it does not stand on human dignity.

"I am not putting Basha in a difficult position. The difficult position for him would be if I did not stand for human dignity. A party that does not stand for these principles deserves not to exist. That's clear to any Democrat, "said the former PM.

In the meantime, the senior DP official, an elected deputy in the new parliament, Tritan Shehu called on Saturday a monstrous lie and low provocation of what Kadilli said. Furthermore, Shehu told Kadilli on a post on FB on Saturday that he seems to have discovered the Taliban within the DP. Meanwhile, Shehu reminded him that Berisha was the first promoter of the great principle of love and unlimited respect of the DP to the USA.

"Unlimited love and respect for the United States has been at the core of the DP since its birth … and it continues to be at all levels of this party despite our internal debates. And the promoter of this great principle has been exactly Berisha himself without interruption. This continues even today with Basha as chairman, ”noted Shehu, a former deputy PM and health and foreign minister when DP ruled Albania.

However, even Shehu does not refer to what the US Ambassador has asked from Basha. As it can be seen in the above statement, he seems to praise both Berisha and Basha.

The rebus becomes more difficult in an attempt to guess the meaning of a post released on Saturday by the former President, Bujar Nishani, a close collaborator of Berisha and now an adversary of Basha.

Nishani’s post said: “How interesting is that moment when someone continues to lie while you know the truth.”

It is not clear who is the ‘someone’ and the relationship of that enigmatic ‘someone’ with the DP.

But the only person in the DP who knows very well what is going to happen in September is Basha who as usually keeps silent saying not a word if he will allow Berisha to join the DP parliamentary group challenging the US Ambassador.

So, the question remains how Basha will handle this situation. Has he decided to sell out Berisha, the leader who made him leader, the so called ‘spiritual father’ of him?

It has always been hard for Albanian leaders of both political wings to oppose what the US ambassadors have asked. Will Basha be the first to challenge a demand by the US Ambassador or expel Berisha from the DP parliamentary group?

It seems a hard nut to crack for the current head of the DP, but one thing is clear that the latest event adds to the confusion that goes on with the largest opposition political force. Instead of playing its role as an opponent of the ruling majority, the fight is escalating in its ranks, hitting its cupola. /argumentum.al