Published on : 13 April 2017

In favour of the President’s initiative for dialogue to avoid any delay

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s press release:

 

Prime Minister Rama: I believe that once again time has come to insist on the necessity for dialogue. There is an initiative of the President of the Republic which we have supported without hesitation, and we have stressed that we are ready to sit at the dialogue table without conditions. As it happened in the previous attempt, again there is a delay which I hope it is not the delay that will announce that failure of this other effort. On the other hand, it is very important that everyone understands that as far as I am concerned and as far as we are concerned, dialogue is the first preference, it has been and remains the first preference. Time does not wait.

The DP and its chairman should not be afraid of dialogue, they should not be afraid of the table where all parliamentary parties can show their points of view, and they should not be afraid of the exchange of opinions that can bring progress in every aspect. Therefore, this is a totally unjustified fear in relation to the public opinion, and above all in relation to the voters of the DP. 

Meanwhile, my concern is that we are in a situation towards which the attention of our friends and international partners is growing very significantly, not for the better of course, but for the fact that nobody can perceive what all of this means, and at a time when everyone expects us to have free and fair elections on the date set by the Constitution of the Republic of Albania.

Mr Rama, MEP Kukan conveyed the message from Brussels that you Mr Rama, Mr Meta and Mr Basha should lock yourselves in a room and stay there until a solution to the situation and the stalemate is found. Would you be willing to do this in order to find a solution, and not go get out of that room until the white smoke comes out?

Prime Minister Rama: This means that the room should have a chimney. I cannot put this condition. I am willing to go to every building and to every room where the DP chairman feels comfortable to have a dialogue. 

Mr Rama, the deadline for the registration of the coalitions with the CEC is approaching, and people are very sensitive to the communication between you and your ally. Will this be the moment for the registration of the parties, and also a moment to unite the votes for the next President of the Republic? The first round to elect the President is expected to start next week. Will the opposition be part of this process?   

Prime Minister Rama: I want to repeat that I am very calm throughout this process because I do not see any political crisis or social crisis. I see a dramatic crisis of the Democratic Party, about which we are of course all concerned, and all of us want to contribute to help the Democratic Party come out of this tangled web it has entered. This means that I have no concern about the further progress of a process of reforms, of a process of cooperation and partnership which, in my view, will certainly be confirmed in due course. But in all cases, what remains is that this country has a master, and the master of this country is the sovereign people who will make their choice on June 18.

Have you agreed with the SMI about the President?

Prime Minister Rama: I have said it and I repeat that it is up to this coalition in the first place, it is up to the strategic axis of this coalition, the Socialist Party and the Socialist Movement for Integration, to determine at this moment what is the best choice and, of course, with the full consent to be open to all other parties in order to give the country a dignified President by whom everybody will feel represented.

Mr Rama, is the Prime Minister of this country concerned about the fact that the opposition might not attend the next parliamentary elections?

Prime Minister Rama: The opposition is a concept that I do not match with a party, with several parties, with a symbol, with some symbols, with a face, with some faces. The opposition is a product of freedom, and freedom is not produced by the opposition. So, I have no concern that the new parliament could remain without opposition, even if the Democratic Party decides not to be part of the new parliament.

Mr Rama, is there between you and the SMI an agreement for a second term, or you have begun the talks?

Prime Minister Rama: The second term will be decided by the Albanian people on June 18.

Mr Rama, does the fact that you seem so calm mean that there is an agreement between you and the SMI on all the important aspects of the process in terms of the lawmaking and of the election of the institutions? I mean here the President.

Prime Minister Rama: My calmness is due to the awareness that we have done a lot, that we have a lot to do, and to the fact that we look forward to continue and talk with the Albanians because for us the campaign of June 18 has begun, although not officially and not with the maximum intensity. Therefore, I see no reason to worry, and no one should be concerned. I even think that even to average democrats, to the people who want justice, to the people who want equality, to the people who want a better Albania, as we all want, our offer will be sufficiently convincing.

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