02.05.2000Political fight has turned into hatred
TIRANA - Former Albanian premier Aleksander Meksi is very pessimistic about his country's future because the political fight between the two main political forces is characterised by severe clashes that aim at liquidating political adversaries.
In an interview with independent daily 'Shekulli' on Monday, Meksi, a former senior Democratic Party (DP) leader, expelled because of 'thinking differently', warned that both the Socialists, in power, and the Democrats, in opposition, do not have any manifesto for developing the country, and this had alienated them from the people.
Ordinary people no longer believe in the politicians, though this does not please the politicians. But this is natural because the citizens want to see achievements and have become disappointed by the politicians' lies, according to the former premier.
Considering the loss of the people's confidence in their politicians and politics as a real national tragedy, he lashed out at those who use every wicked means, even weapons, to subdue their adversaries.
Meksi was critical of those politicians who keep threatening their adversaries with imprisonment, while he thought that justice should be depoliticised and those who have violated the state and its institutions and those who do not defend them should be sentenced.
The former premier was against the confiscation of private property when it was legally made, but he highlighted that communists were against the market economy and private property, irrespective of which party they belong to.
Meksi considered as undemocratic the present draft-law on the elections and the composition of the Central Election Commission (CEC), because they left room for manipulations, and, with reluctance, he predicted that after the autumn's local elections and those of next year, events like those of 1997 will take place in Albania.
Excerpts from the interview are below:
- Disappointment with the political class is prevalent in the public opinion. How do you comment on this fact?
- People are right not to believe politicians' words because politics has cheated them with lies and undemocratic and irresponsible actions. They are right not to believe politicians' words because politics here are irresponsibly run. This is natural, though this does not please some.
This loss of confidence has brought about the abandoning of the country by intellectuals, businessmen, citizens, and all leave for a better life. Together with these Albanians, millions of dollars have left the country over the last two years, while the present governors boast that $100m will be invested in Albania within the framework of the Stability Pact.
For me, this disbelief is a genuine national tragedy, whose roots are in the way politics is run in Albania, in the use of weapons to subdue the adversary, in slanders to offend the other, and all of these have one goal: to force people to give up politics.
- How do you view the political fight between the ruling parties and opposition?
- Two things can easily be noticed: first, the coexistence with crime, and secondly, the so-called conflict of interest; conflict of interest means that a minister or a political official cannot have his own firms.
But, in fact, in Albania things have become ridiculous because they (the officials) come out publicly and with pride declare their great sacrifice, because they have registered their economic activities in the name of their wives.
Meanwhile, throughout the world, to transfer anything in the name of a wife, son or son-in-law it is prevented because it is considered to be a conflict of interests.
The person who makes the rules, defines taxes and norms in the fields of economic activity does not have the right to conduct economic activity.
In such a case the economic activity should not be transferred to the wife but, instead, what he has is sold on the market and a third person buys it, and no relations should exist in order to prevent an eventual return of shares.
Under these circumstances, politics has also turned into a fight, or political hatred; there is no class hatred as before. Every Albanian feels bad, and so many things should change in the Albanian political life, especially those elements used to judge people, their actions, parties and programmes.
- There are promises from both parties to imprison this or that senior political leader. How do you comment on these statements?
- In a democratic country justice (which should be independent) should have the say on such things. It is not up to politicians to tell the public that he can do this or that. When he does so, he makes a show that he 'commands' justice. Anyone has the right to bring charges against someone in accordance with the norms of the Code of the Penal Procedure and the Civil Code.
No-one has the right to say "I am exerting democratic pressure", or "When I come to power, I will imprison this or that person".
Justice does that, and if the latter were to be separated from politics, it would have judged all those who shout: "Guys, take up arms!" Likewise, it should sentence those who violate the state and its institutions or those who do not defend them.
- What would you say on the statements of senior DP leaders that the properties of both the Socialists and former Democrats should be demolished?
- Thieves, smugglers and frauds have no range of colour because everything is politically coloured in Albania, and the blue and the red colours dominate. There is an aim of dividing the Albanians' lives in two and to make it like it was in Prishtina when Albanians walked on one pavement and the Serbs on the other.
Thanks to the present 'brilliant' politicians, I believe that very soon Albanians will start to walk on two different sides on the boulevards.
As far as what you asked is concerned, it is a fact that communists have never liked the market economy, nor private property, even when they change parties. Properties are confiscated only by court decisions, when they have been obtained through violating laws, and they cannot be demolished because someone takes pleasure in demolishing.
- How can the conflict over the CEC be resolved?
- The deliberate dispute on the CEC is a shame. Those who want to consider it their property through violating the Constitution and the principles of equality and justice, as well as the other side which has been making much noise, should find other means to resolving this issue.
The law submitted to Parliament is undemocratic, and I am a specialist in drafting electoral laws in Albania.
The draft-law in question is a law which leaves room for the manipulating of elections. I am sure that after the elections of this year and the next, the events of 1996-97 will be repeated in Albania. The only solution is just and honest elections.