The meeting between Prime Minister Edi Rama and Democratic Party Chaur Lulzim Basha in the President’s office ended without an agreement to resolve the crisis. This is the second mediating effort within the last 10 days.
A couple of weeks ago came in Tirana two negotiators of the European People’s Party, part of which the Democratic Party is, MEPs David McAllister and Knut Fleckenstein.
The proposal they made to the parties contained three essential points:
- Postponement of the election to 16 July.
- Replacement of four cabinet ministers Rama with technical staff proposed by Prime Minister Rama and approved by the opposition.
- Appointment of the chairman of the Central Elections Committee (KQZ) with the proposal of the opposition and the consensus of the President and the Ombudsman.
These proposals and their acceptance were confirmed by Edi Rama, on April 27, from the Parliament:
“We proved with facts that what we have repeatedly said, that we are ready for an unconditional dialogue which is sincere and truthful. We have openly welcomed EPP McAllister’s envoy along with MEP Fleckenstein and we have accepted within a few seconds the compromise platform proposed by them. “
But the proposal was not accepted by opposition leader Basha, who during the negotiations made a concession regarding the unchanged condition of the caretaker government: the Prime Minister of the technical government could be nominated by Rama himself, with the consent of the opposition.
The May 3rd meeting, mediated by President Nishani, came after a video conference of the Democratic Party’s parliamentary group with EPP Chair Joseph Daul and EPP Vice President and also European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn during which Lulzim Basha promised to “explore every opportunity” in order to reach a compromise.
The meeting in the presidency lasted about three hours, but without reaching any agreement.
Following a later meeting with ambassadors Vlahutin and Lu, Prime Minister Rama revealed the proposal he had made at the meeting in the Presidency:
“I have proposed what I believe addresses objective problems, a monitoring, like never before, of all state structures, of the police, Regional Education Directorates and all our education system, our prison system, which have been pointed out as a problematic areas in the ODIHR’s previous report and an agreed upon regulation on how to avoid using state-owned assets in the campaign and a certain category of government activities that should not be used in the campaign.”
It is unclear what the Prime Minister means in terms of monitoring and who will conduct his monitoring.
Lulzim Basha confirmed that this monitoring proposal was the only proposal of Edi Rama, who in fact had no longer stayed true to his previous offer which he had accepted with the European negotiators, regarding the issue of substituting several ministerial posts with caretaker minister and the passing of the Central Election Committee Chair to the opposition:
“I offered on the table everything that the Democratic Party and the opposition can offer as a solution. Unfortunately, the other party withdrew also from last week’s proposals, which they themselves lobbied about and which, in themselves, were far less than enough to secure the minimum guarantee for Albanian citizens.
Both Prime Minister Rama and PD’s Chair Basha, in their evening’s declarations, despite the blatant and seemingly irresistible language, cited in passing, as being open to discuss again in order to find a solution. However, the prospect of a compromise seems small now.