Albanian Daily News
Albania, who contributed for Kosovo crisis, deserves prosperity

Albanian Economic Tribune - Jan 08, 2000

The Speaker of Parliament, Skender Gjinushi, in the following interview with daily ‘Zeri i Popullit’ says that parliament will play an active role in the implementation of the Stability Pact. He said that a co-ordination commission will be organised in this framework to arrange the work.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

Considering the future that the Stability Pact offers and the growing attempts of Albanian institutions to integrate Albania into it, how active will parliament be in implementing the Pact and what will be the first step in this respect?

It is judged that now is the time when the implementation of the Stability Pact should be realised for the region, in general, and Albania, in particular. In this framework, the Albanian Parliament has decided to play an active role. Considering the complex character of the Pact, which consists of three chapters, peace, stability, democracy and economic development, the parliamentary commissions will play an important role. In this framework, the establishment of a co-ordination commission, which is considered necessary, is required. The coalition parties have agreed on that. They have approved a decision in principle which will be realised at the start of the season. It has to do with the programme and the duties of this commission, the way of co-operating with the other commissions and the Albanian executive. This will constitute an important step for parliament, which will automatically share the way of conceiving the Pact and the way of accomplishing it. Our aim is to benefit as much as possible from this Pact, as the Albanians really deserve this as they suffered the most difficult consequences of the Kosovo crisis. The crisis was alleviated by the Albanians and consequently the post-crisis advantages are for Albania and Kosovo. The international community is convinced that the Albanian factor affects the stability of the Balkans and further.

What pace will parliament follow to adapt the laws to the new constitution?

The 2000 agenda for parliament includes the re-drafting of laws relating to the major institutions of the country. These laws speak about the organisation of the major state institutions on the basis of the constitution.

Say, the law on organisation of the High Court, Central Elections Committee, the draft-law on organisation of Local Government and the Chief Prosecution, etc., i.e. a range of important laws that are voted on by three fifths of the deputies. This shows that these laws will be long-lived and they will constitute the basis of parliament’s activity. Furthermore, the Penal Code will be subject to some amendments which will be done in accordance with the last decision of the Constitutional Court. The platform of strategy and national defence, presented by the Defence Ministry in co-operation with the Presidency, is one of the first documents that parliament aims to approve. This document is now lodged with parliament.

In the meantime, some economic laws relating to economic reform, privatisation of strategic objects (Parliament should define formulae by special laws for the privatisation of each strategic object) etc, will be approved.

The opposition (Democratic Party) is pushing for early elections. What are the chances of holding new elections?

We cannot speak of early elections. We are on the eve of elections. The local elections can be held later this year, in June, September or October. All the parties think that the Sept-Oct period is more appropriate considering the fact that the necessary preparations have not yet been made by the Central Elections Committee, nor have the necessary electoral infra-structure, elections and local government laws.

Since our aim is to improve the electoral democracy, which is the plank of a real democracy, it is clear that we are not ready for general elections. Viewed even from this technical and legal point of view, we judge that we are not yet prepared to face general elections. But, we judge that these elections can be held by September or October. Those who ask for general elections aim to create an unstable image for Albania. The parties cannot ask for early elections. People can do that, or the majority when forced by particular circumstances. The majority is not forced to hold elections. Besides the 1,000 or 2,000 Berisha-supporters, there are no others who hope for a better alternative. When they think that the only other alternative is Berisha, they do not ask for elections at all.

The DP has serious qualms about the alternative it serves itself. The DP is not prepared for elections and is going through a crucial problem, the lack of internal democracy. It does not accept competition and substitutes it with the physical pressure, i.e. it has established the same state model. To embrace the DP alternative would mean to bring back the alternative of 1996-1997. From the economic point of view, Albania has reached progress and stability. The state and its institutions are becoming stronger, while the opposition has not yet embraced the stance of the state and its institutions in historic moments, such that of the Kosovo issue.

The totally different stance of the DP with that of the state institutions, or the USA and the whole international community on Kosovo issue is known. It is sufficient to recall the Rambouillet summit. These are not stances relating to the character or a man or his ambitions. They are related to certain interests of Balkan conjectures. The dealing with the Kosovo crisis and the stance of the Albanian state at that historic moment is another argument for giving to the Alliance for State a second mandate.

Local elections represent an electoral test. How do you consider them?

Electoral tests have always been present in Albania (in recent years). Two tests were made in 1998 when the state was not yet consolidated, when Berisha’s tactic was against the establishment of a state, as he attempted to do with the constitution, the parliament boycott, lack of opposition-ruling party dialogue until the state coup when the Socialist chairman resigned from the Premier’s post as a result of pressure from the Sept. 14 coup, including the whole game with the murder of a deputy, the organisation of a referendum and the victory of the majority.

This was confirmed with the partial local elections, as well as the referendum. Not the victory but the landslide results of the local elections were put into discussion.

The positive developments within the majority, which have affected the relations with the executive, represent another reason for positive results. All these harmonious developments create the image of a state. New game rules are introduced. We, who dealt with a war, deserve to face the peace now that Albania has been given another offer, the Stability Pact.

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