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What did the local government elections show?
Written by Saba Lama 19 Maj 2023
The local government elections that took place on May 14 of this year are undoubtedly an important political event for all the citizens of our country, as they, through their participation in the voting, voted for the rotation of power at the local level, express the alternative of thought of as the best for the next 4 years. Of course, for the local elections of May 14, 2023, there have been comments from various important political figures of our country, as well as from well-known journalists and analysts, and even disputes regarding the progress of these elections. Based on the information provided, the comments made as well as those that were experienced throughout the development of the process, from the beginning to its conclusion, the next local government elections on May 14, I find it reasonable to focus the comment on 3 aspects , with the opinion that it will better serve the analysis of this process. Let us follow each of these aspects below. First, related to the participants who were experienced during the voting process. For this aspect, I first want to underline that one of the best ways to advance democracy is participation in voting, in addition to free, fair and transparent elections that should characterize the voting process. It is already known that the vote is the most powerful weapon in democracy. Regarding the participation that was reflected, I would single out this election as one of the elections with the lowest participation that we have experienced so far in our country based on the number we faced. Undoubtedly, this indicator speaks openly of a boycott of the elections by our citizens all over the country. Based on this fact, it results that dissatisfaction and mistrust is felt on both sides. So not only towards the opposition, but also towards the position, that of course this dissatisfaction and this mistrust towards the parties in question, is at different levels. Such participation is also a test for both the winner and the loser, to better see where they are in relations with the citizens in terms of the next governments. Secondly, regarding the conclusion we draw about the experienced result. In this regard, I want to underline that the victory of the SP over the opposition was a spectacular and dominant victory, since this victory was achieved not only in the strongholds of the SP, but also in the strongholds of the opponent (the opposition), the more they achieved to also take Shkodra, the historical bastion of the DP. Of course, for this victory of the SP and the deep failure of the opposition in the local elections, there were also reactions and comments from the main representatives and exponents of this opposition, where according to them there was manipulation and pressure in some polling centers from certain sympathetic segments and representatives of the left. Even the historical leader of the Democratic Party has declared that we do not recognize such elections. But such arguments and attitudes are the next scenarios and rhetorics reflected by the opposition and its main representatives, already known to us, so I would call them brochkulla based on the deep victory of the SP over the opposition in the elections that are held word. Several factors have influenced the deep victory of the SP over the opposition, among which we are highlighting some of them below, considered to be the most important and important: a)- this opposition in the elections in question has been divided so much that we can say that the SP has had no opposition at all in these elections. Of course, the opposition must look for this weakness within itself for the wrong strategy followed for years. Such weaknesses and shortcomings created cracks in the opposition which gradually worsened, because it did not know how to find itself politically. b) - the deep defeat of the opposition in these elections is also a result of the deficiency and weakness of its leaders (problems related to leadership), which with the strategy and policy followed led the PD to this catastrophic state where it is now . c)- the opposition must be more than clear that its deep defeat in the local elections, is that in addition to the dissatisfaction and mistrust of citizens across the country due to the misgovernance of the Democratic Party when it was in power, it is also a result of the fact that in these local elections it has had many political opponents from within itself. ç) - of course, the other important and undeniable factor related to the victory of the SP is that it governed better than the DP, when the latter was in power, seen in all the indicators of the governance of a political force. d)- I also think that in the local elections of May 14, there is another reason that influenced the victory of the SP to achieve the experienced result. And here we are talking about the successful propaganda developed by the SP, where in this direction I would dedicate the main merits to Prime Minister Edi Rama himself regarding the propaganda made during the election campaign for the local government. In this regard, I think that his propaganda has been more convincing, more fruitful and more reliable in the next meetings with the citizens regarding what he has said and promised for the future, compared to the opponent's propaganda in the election campaign in question. Based on these indicators that we mentioned above, we reach the conclusion that the SP fully deserves the victory achieved, while for the opposition we can say with full conviction that with the votes of May 14, it received the deserved punishment from the sovereign. Also regarding the result experienced in these local elections, I want to point out that the victory achieved by the SP, without a doubt, it will influence the next parliamentary elections as a guarantor for the consecutive victory of the SP. As for the opposition for its deep loss in the elections in question, it is undoubtedly also an important test for it, in terms of the measures it must take for its reorganization, without losing many aspects of the good functioning to recover itself in the future, to get out of this situation that I would call catastrophic where it is at the moment. In this direction, I see an important role in putting the opposition on the path of progress and development in the change that the PD (as the main force of the right) should make, in its composition, to bring new faces, new elements and a new leader in direction, making the necessary change possible. Third, regarding the conclusion we draw about the development of the May 14 election process from international monitoring. It is already known that the elections and the electoral process take place within certain standards which undoubtedly have to do with the smooth running and normal functioning of the elections. Of course, these local elections, like all other elections held in our country, have been monitored by the international community, where the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, led by Ambassador Audrey Glover, plays an important role in this regard. This mission, whose focus was the observation of the voting process throughout the country, in addition to the considerations expressed regarding the general conduct of the elections, there were also remarks and contestations that should be evaluated and respected in order to make the necessary improvements in the next elections. Based on the remarks and contestations made, as well as other anomalies found, related to the smooth running of the process in the local elections, I think that our democracy is still fragile and they feel the need for consolidation, even though we have over 30 years of transition. . Today, during election campaigns and processes, high pressure is still felt to preserve the workplace in an administration that is theoretically depoliticized, or to secure a good place in the next mandate. Such tendencies, instead of softening, continue to be present, despite the legal changes and the pressures of international institutions to have an administration independent of politics. Finally, I want to underline that even after 30 years of transition, our political parties have still not managed to understand that power in democracy is not eternal, but temporary. Of course, this deficiency and this mentality that exists, along with others, has influenced the inhibition of Albanian democracy to move on the right path.