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The dialogue starts from respecting the Constitution!
Written by Bujar Leskaj 22 Nëntor 2023
Today, the three embassies of Western countries, Albania's strategic allies, the US, Great Britain and German embassies, reacted strongly, expressing their rightful concern and asking for political dialogue between the government and the opposition.
With the same spirit and arguments, the 2023 Report of the European Commission on Albania, published two weeks ago, conveyed the message of comprehensive political dialogue between the parties, which is being forgotten. The report clearly stated that "Disagreements between the majority and the opposition, especially with the Prime Minister's refusal to participate in most of the interpellations requested by the opposition, caused a temporary interruption in the normal functioning of the Assembly." (Page 9 of the Progress Report, fourth paragraph, https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-11/SWD_2023_690%20Albania%20report.pdf).
The political dialogue begins first, with the joint work on electoral reform. There is no cooperation and dialogue, if the opposition is not adequately represented in the Assembly Commission for Electoral Reform. The opposition is within its legitimate right to request a change in the composition of the Commission for Electoral Reform, as the Reestablishment MPs and the parliamentary group headed by Speaker Gazmend Bardhi constitute the vast majority of the opposition MPs.
We must undo the incalculable damage caused by the constitutional changes of 2008, and for this we must act quickly. We need to improve the electoral code, allowing pre-election coalitions, open lists of candidates and enabling Diaspora voting.
Another cornerstone of the political dialogue between the position and the opposition is the constitutional right of the opposition to establish parliamentary investigative commissions. Article 77, point 2, of the Constitution, defines clearly and without any equivocation that: "The Assembly, at the request of a quarter of all its members, is obliged to appoint a commission of inquiry to examine a particular issue".
The Democratic Party, through more than 35 of its deputies, i.e. more than a quarter of the Assembly, has demanded the investigation of strategic investments, the "McGonigal" case, the robbery of the Port of Durrës, through the scandalous contract with Alabar, the charter trips of to the Prime Minister, the investigation of the TIMS data theft scandal, of concessional contracts in health, as well as of decision-making in conflict of interest. All these topics, the object of investigation by the parliamentary commissions requested by the opposition, are topics of conversation, comments and public concern today for every honest citizen of this country.
Electoral reform and parliamentary investigative commissions constitute two "sine qua non" conditions for a healthy political dialogue between the position and the opposition. The moment these two basic conditions are met, the Assembly leaves the extreme degradation where a single man, the prime minister, has led it and enters the normality of the development of the work of its permanent committees and parliamentary sessions.
In the last few weeks, especially, this parliament has gone down in history, turning into an ordinary notary of the prime minister's whims. Yesterday it entered history as a parliament that approves a State budget with the speed of Formula One speed races, in just a few minutes.
Parliamentaryization in the world, about 800 years ago in England, was created by the need and necessity to discuss in detail and approve the State budget, extending in time the parliamentary evaluation process of its indicators.
The 2024 budget of the Albanian State will be remembered as the most irresponsible budget in the history of our pluralism. It is also the fastest approved budget in the history of world parliamentarianism, in just five minutes! The state budget of the Rama sect in government was approved yesterday with an average speed of 1.4 billion euros in expenses and 1.1 billion euros in income per minute!
The right concern of the Progress Report 2023 of the European Commission and the embassies of the USA, Great Britain and Germany, should lead us to forcefully seek a constructive and realistic political dialogue between the position and the opposition, as the only way to given peace and stability to the country. The opposition led by the deputies of Reestablishment has always been for the language of constructive political dialogue.
It is the position that must implement the recommendation of the Progress Report 2023 of the European Union and the demands of our strategic partners, accepting the reconfiguration of the Parliamentary Commission for Electoral Reform, in terms of members from the opposition, as well as the establishment of parliamentary investigative commissions requested by the opposition . As soon as these two legitimate demands are accepted, the opposition immediately returns to its natural and necessary role in a democracy, as a controller and accountability seeker of the government, through parliamentary action.