The extra package: a reflection of a fallen system

The extra package: a reflection of a fallen system
This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and

By Sonila Meço

A visit by the deputy assistant State Secretary, Hoyt Brian Yee was needed on 15 May to seal the international stance over an agreement which puts the political crisis in Albania to an end.

So, since February, when the opposition took to the boulevard and set up a tent, it took the international community three months to realize what the “Albanian case” is all about and that this is not a political crisis, but it’s the system. A system which has been built and strengthened with the idea that for as long as it generates no water, it will not sink anyone.

After everything that was attempted, with endless negotiators, the sides have passed now to an integrated proposal, with a “+” added to McAllister’s package.

All the points of the German plan, excluding a point or two, have been engraved and there’s no chance for them to be corrected. New ministers enter the government, the head of the CEC and Ombudsman are proposed by the opposition, the sale of vote is criminalized, police chiefs suspected of corruption and having ties with the drug traffic are being removed, changes are being made in the election code, the Vetting commissions will be voted, the election date will be postponed, changes will be made in the law for the transparency and funding of political parties and a rigorous implementation of the decriminalization law is demanded.

Thus, proposals that affect the system. Some of them seem to act as a shining coat, some seem to caress it, some others seem to improve it, while some address the most acute and leave the chronic one in pain. But in its entirety, it is a clear picture of the situation in Albania today. The system has fallen; it has a Constitution which has no value, it has a lack in the balance of powers, political parties with unlimited power, voters whom political parties do not offer any explanations, a system with extra parliamentary solutions and with a legitimacy that stems from the international community. We are not even a sovereign state.

Now, the opposition leader who is leaving the shadow of the tent to be more transparent under the light of the talks, has accepted all the proposals of the integrated McAllister ‘+’ package, while the Prime Minister is under the shadow of a person who is accepting McAllister’s package, but by ruling out several points which may not be fulfilled as a result of the constitutional deadlines, leaving “transparency” to its own media channel and “safe sources”.

However, in this giant farce where many languages are spoken, besides Albanian, the sides resort to diplomacy and negotiations to rescue everything they can. And when the solution goes through political negotiations, the sides measure the distance well in order for the meeting to be held in the middle, not a step forward or backward. The negotiations are taking place in front of the electoral campaign to be used for political credit more than a solution. But this jeopardizes the quality of the solution of the crisis, as a ticket which would lead the assumed winner toward a much bigger problem.

The crisis developed and the proposals for the solution were found on the biggest two failures of this majority, the electoral reform and the justice reform. Failures which were engraved with unprecedented autism by the international community located in Albania, which didn’t receive or give any signals, making it harder for their employers to solve the crisis.

Today there exists a package which at least guarantees elections based on accepted standards, in order not to bid farewell to pluralism and not destroy this so called democracy that we have managed to build so far.


But something must not escape us in all of this chaos, which is being attempted to be solved by those who contributed. The solution is being sought in those points which were not fulfilled since 2013, the electoral reform and the justice reform. And every effort to bring new changes to the country should have started with the elections. To find a solution about the electoral reform within the time limits, when each movement and concession is considered a loss of electoral capital, is a responsibility that goes beyond chess and poker. The ones who speak of a victory, although McAllister ‘+’ package points out their failures, are the only ones who know why negotiators were needed to carry out an act which marks the end of the decay of a system.

A package with such content has not offered any guarantees for the opposition. It has only overthrown the government, the system, the accredited ambassadors in charge of guaranteeing standards and principles of a democratic country, the same as the ones that they come from and where we aspire to be part of one day. The solution doesn’t consist of the package, but the reflection. The solution is up to us. If we don’t do it to feel European citizens, we must at least do it in order to guarantee a mechanism that makes sure that we will not be governed better than we deserve.

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Note: The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy

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