Potential EU member Albania has been locked in political crisis for one year. Young Albanians, among them many conservatives, are pushing the socialist regime to hold referenda elections if there should be a re-count of the vote from June 2009.
To begin the general referendum procedures, Albanian electoral law states that a request for a referendum is required with just 14 signatures on a petition.
The petitioning group should then be given the appropriate apparatus in order to get 50,000 signatures but the Albanian Central Elections Commission took a "politicised" decision and rejected the original request, though it is law for it to be accepted as 14 signatures were gathered.
Young Albanians like Andi Gjoligu are campaigning to have the people voice their will on the matter. Andi explains the situation to tBg.
"A wise man once said that "there are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice, the love of power and the love of money." In Albania, the love of power and money are combining to suppress our most fundamental rights. Criminals and tyrants are first getting all our money, then all our lands, and if left unchecked will most surely turn us and our children into their servants forever.
The events of the next few weeks, will determine if Albania is to "have a government which guarantees life, liberty, and property, or whether the country will drift into anarchy, confusion, and the dictation of aspiring demagogues."
A republic lacking a functioning parliament and blocking direct democracy is nothing but a dictatorship on the brink of anarchy
There is a lot to be said about this referendum in Albania, but I will try to highlight a few important chronological points.
1. From the last general elections of June 2009, the two largest political camps in Albania have been deadlocked over the results.
2. The opposition wants a recount; the governing coalition refuses.
3. Both camps have taken part in the manipulation of the voting process.
4. After a year of protests, failed negotiations, hunger strikes, fights in the parliament, and all kinds of political theatrics the crisis is alive and well.
5. The crisis has brought the political system and the economy to a halt.
6. As a result, a request for referendum was submitted to the Central Election Commission (CEC).
7. According to law, the CEC had 20 days to verify the signatures and equip us with the model forms required to gather 50,000 signatures.
8.On the 20th day we went to the CEC who said that the Ministry of Interior had not verified the 14 signatures.
9. At the Ministry of Interior they said they could not read our handwriting. We offered to help with any needed clarifications. They told us to go back to the CEC. The CEC told us they were too busy to help us.
10. Twelve days after the deadline had passed, the CEC held a meeting which resembled a communist style political court. (I have attached some thoughts on the meeting)
11. A week later the CEC provided an official answer saying that the request had legal confusion.
12. The CEC handed down a politically motivated decision.
During the entire time we have tried to engage the western international community but to no avail. I have attached the letters we sent them. For reasons beyond comprehension, the Western international community has played a deaf ear to our request to play a more active role. They are playing the same tune as the Albanian political class--complete indifference. This is very troublesome.
We expected our morally and philosophically bankrupt political class to oppose the referendum by all means, to end the prolonged political. The political class will not support the referendum because they are afraid of the will of the people. They do not want anyone to challenge their political monopoly.
We thought, however, that the western international community would support a grass-roots and non-political initiative The indifference of the international community is sending chills throughout the community of those who are working to peacefully reform the political system. There has been lots of talk about democracy in the past 20 years, but now that the young generation is trying to solve a crisis through direct democracy the international community is no where to be found. No support has been forthcoming, and there are no indications that any support will come any time soon. How should we interpret this?
We have not given up. But we are forced to reach beyond the local diplomatic presence by going directly to the main EU institutions.
More to follow on the developing situation and the young conservatives plight in Albania.