Public Communication of Prime Minister Edi Rama following June 30 local polls:
Dear fellow citizens, either with or without political convictions, be either here, abroad or wherever you are in this historic moment!
Today it was the June 30 of an Albania that for months experienced the drama of a grave political division, inspired, encouraged and aimed at bringing the country’s progress, normality, democratic coexistence and its integration into the European family to a halt.
Today was the regular local election day, which after months long turned into the culminating day of an historic clash between the past and the future, discourtesy and citizenship, between the state and the anti-state, the impunity and justice, between the politics of force and the power of politics, between the past’s threatening violence and the natural hope in the future, between the old Albania of injustice, ghosts and fossils of history and the just Albania we want for our children.
The state and the future won today, the power of politics, citizenship, and hope won, future European Albania of our children won, while the past Albania of the unfaithful politics was justly defeated.
It was a hard-won victory, probably the hardest-won electoral battles in Albania to date. I personally do not remember a harder one because the elections did not pit political rivals against each other, but it was still the fragile democratic system to fight against the furious election adversaries themselves.
Today, the June 30, a seemingly never-coming date is now passing peacefully, but generously to Albanians, taking along the threatening shadow of national anxiety, human insecurity, social and institutional chaos.
A great special thank goes to the steadfast and staunch friends and partners democratic Albania that was threatened, assaulted and shaken, but it did never fall also thanks to their unwavering position on the side of the Albanian people to defend democracy, freedom of choice and the right of any Albanian citizen to elect.
Special thanks to the Government of the United States of America and its mission in Tirana!
Special thanks to the European Union and the Delegation of the European Union to Albania!
Thank you the OSCE Mission and every other honourable representative of the democratic world that gave a hand to this serious and absurd battle for a NATO member and an EU candidate country.
And I would like not only to express appreciation to them, but also apologize to every foreign friend, who turned into a target of disgraceful personal attacks.
A new day is coming and it will find Albania liberated from the anxiety of a vicious half of this year.
Yet, the new day brings with it the heavy burden of the tremendous challenge to heal the wounds opened by the shadow of divisive madness.
The Albanian people and the whole Albanian nation indeed did not deserve none of the things they experienced for months in the intimidating darkness of the entire first half of the year, which seemed it was about to tear apart and rip off the country’s body pieces and would forcefully and rampantly turn back the new age of Albanians.
This country’s voters, regardless of their beliefs and origin, did not deserve all that mischievous criminal pressure over their spirit and minds.
This country didn’t deserve all that mud hurled at its face via the world’s media outlets, serving an anti-national plan of rouge reporters about a never-happening catastrophe.
But Albanian citizens did their own part today. They did what the people do when the day for them to speak comes as the only sovereign in the space of democracy.
They spoke as clearly as beautiful.
Either by going to cast their vote, or by not doing so, they indeed spoke through the language of peace and respect for each other.
They turned the predicted catastrophe day into a completely normal Sunday of the society, where the threatening groups too, being completely isolated by the whole nation united in peace, had replaced the Molotov bombs with accordions and the comical woofs against the imaginary monism.
In short, what seemed to be the dead-end of a resistance against the fiercest political offensive against democracy, the state and against the country that Albania had ever seen.
A new day will come shortly.
A new day and new era begins when we the representatives of the newly-reconfirmed will of the Albanian citizens should keep doing our part by, first of all, humbly bowing in front of the people and by reflecting a lot more than to date in front of the mirror of our government, both at central and local level.
But I want to be clear starting today:
We didn’t win a regular electoral battle to win the next term in running the country’s municipalities, but we forever won the fight for the elections to come.
From now on, Albania will no longer see relinquished parliamentary mandates, political parties of Molotov bombs, election boycotts and hostile political fronts acting against the people’s right to elect.
From now on, the defeat of those who dared launch the adventure of this year’s unfortunate half is a lesson learned, not only for them, but also for every Albanian political parties. From now on, we the winners of this June 30 should deeply embed the fact that we didn’t win because we have done a very good job. Neither because we have done enough, nor because of what we have done to date, but because we deserve the great support we enjoyed in this extreme political fight, where, initially, few people, few of us too, believed we would succeed to the end.
None of us should cherish such an illusion.
We haven’t done very good deeds.
We just have done a good job, but we have also done things I wish we would have done differently. Because we done them wrong. Some of them even bad.
What we have done so far are not adequate at all.
And if we don’t read it this way, just like it is and just like I am openly stating, starting tomorrow people will be rightly less patient and less inclined to understand our mistakes and deficiencies, let alone forgive us for any wrongdoings.
If we, God forbid it, mistakenly read this great support we received in this harrowing endeavor by thinking this is a result of the merits of our government, it is then unlikely that we would return them either properly or sufficiently to the Albanians and Albania their current investment in the future, democracy, the European path of our common homeland.
Therefore, starting from tomorrow, let us not forget for a single moment:
The only thing we are to be credited for the victory of this historic day is that we stayed on the right side of the history and we chose the most difficult and seemingly impossible path.
We have the merit for choosing the right and long path towards the future, orienting ourselves towards the people’s right over the political parties and accepting to take on the very dangerous challenge of eye-to-eye conflict with evil.
We have the merit for not taking the shortest and wrong path of coexistence with the evil and accept the seemingly-reasonable postponement of the election date and sell dear the future in order to buy cheap a falsely appease.
And today I feel very proud as an Albanian, as a citizen of this country and leader of the Socialist Party for this merit.
Thanks to this merit, the Socialist Party of Albania is a stronger force and even more credible political force of our emerging democracy.
Right for this merit, another page will add to the history book of this party, where its greatest, most important and undisputed truth from its foundation can be read; never conflict the national interest. Stay always on the right side of history, forever on the side of this country’s citizens whenever the fundamental values of democracy are threatened in this country.
This merit, of course, is a lot and not a minor one.
But that’s all.
It is over right here and sticking to this milestone accomplishment is a closed chapter.
Starting from tomorrow, the June 30 is simply history.
The days, months and years to come, starting from tomorrow to the end of our term in the central government and the new term in the local government, are an ever growing debt we owe to all of those who granted us the today’s victory; the victory of European citizenship and dignity of the ordinary man, the will of this people, a million of times nobler, wiser and visionary than this country’s politicians and opinion-makers.
It is a tremendous debt that I accept and I won’t leave, although I know how tough and more difficult than today it is the challenge of paying it off if we do not, starting tomorrow, begin to change from what we are today.
Throughout the month of July, we will conduct an internal debate to look at the central and local government, in the already Socialist-run municipalities and the municipalities we will run starting tomorrow and plan all needed adjustments in view of the extremely tough challenge, a broad debate to analyse the situation in our large political family in order to make the due adjustments, based on the successful organizational examples that were quite significant today.
A debate to look at our new position in the country’s political scene and the cross-party relations, both with the parliamentary opposition and the non-parliamentary one.
The open wound by the paroxysm of the unfortunate half of this year needs to heal and we will do utmost to heal it, although it was them – the shamed losers of the hallucinate political war they projected – to open it.
They are now right where they deserve to be, right down in the hole they sought to bury Albania, justice and the government and it still remains to be seen how long they will keep pretending as if they don’t see, hear or figure out that not only have lost all hopes of success, but also God Himself can save them from the ultimate destruction, should they, as always, would seek to find the reason behind their disgraceful defeat outside themselves.
However, I would like to make it clear today.
If they want political peace, peace there will be and peace can be in place by withdrawing bit by bit, yet visible from the foreign language assaults on Albania.
If they want an accord for the sake of Albania, an accord there will be and an agreement can be built only through unconditional dialogue and by expressing without hesitation the readiness to together commit and work in order to contribute towards opening the accession negotiations with the European Union.
The European Council’s decision due in October doesn’t of course lie in our hand, but we can definitely do more in favour of opening the negotiations.
My hand of cooperation is extended.
The election reform according to the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations and the recommendations from the European Council remain a common challenge with both parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition, with the latter having for long now an empty chair in the Election Reform Commission and it is welcomed to sit and use its granted veto power.
While the justice system reform is not up for negotiations and discussions, but it can only be supported.
It must be very clear to everyone that starting today that I have not the slightest disposition for any political deal for the chair of politicians and no readiness for any kind of accord to prevent justice from dealing with the wrongdoings of anyone, be either right or left politician.
We won’t be able to pay off the whole debt this people plunged our governing majority deeper and deeper into, even we were to become magicians, but one thing is for sure: From now on it should be clear to everyone the message that not only those who ended up in the pit because they south to set Albania on fire and to blow up the road to EU membership negotiations, but everyone else under the roof of the big house of Socialists and Progressives, who might have or will have to settle scores with justice, will not be defended, will not be justified, will not be tolerated by this party for any reason in this world.
This party, starting tomorrow, should and will belong, through deeds not just words, to the people who granted today the victory of the human reason over the political bestiality; the civic sentiment over the primitive instincts; high national responsibility over irresponsibility and disloyalty to the nation!
The imaginary revolution of the municipal administration turned out to be a spectacular defeat to the blind leaders, organizers and activists.
Whoever crosses the law’s red line during the revolutionary activity should be punished and pay it dearly fit to the crime as legally stipulated.
While whoever has been merely a victim of the pressure from the opposition’s tour operators and protest agency and descended into the boulevard as a peaceful political tourist, he or she should not and will not be affected for this reason in his or her right to continue to work in administrations or in municipal entities.
No women or girls, primarily, will be dismissed from work in the previously centre-right run municipalities. No political revenge of whatsoever with the municipal administration will be tolerated and no triumphalist entry as a victorious party in search of jobs in the administration will be allowed. Nevertheless, the places occupied by cousins and rackets of any nature, by people who have nothing to do with the work they are paid for, nor the merit they should have for the position they hold, will have no excuse.
However, everything will take place after thorough analysis and based on transparent reports to the public and decision-making based on sound professional and legal arguments.
Albania of this June 30 didn’t win for the left party, but for the right.
Moreover, our own governance, both at national and local level, should reflect, as a result of this exalting day for democracy, no nuance of triumphalism, no complacency, and no expression of disregard for anything of anyone.
On the contrary, we should immediately and continuously reflect the urgent need for a new, sincere and great embracing for every individual and values of competition and merit, beyond left or right sympathies and antipathies.
It is high time for a completely new policy vis-à-vis the political camps of ordinary people; a fresh, serious and structured approach of the Socialist Party and all administration levels of this country to skilled, educated and learned men, willing to serve the state we so much are endeavouring to build; a new momentum in the state-building efforts and further consolidation of the rule of law in view of a very positive climate, but also a more aggressive justice vis-à-vis the everyone’s obligations to the state and the society, starting with the politicians.
I would like to conclude by greeting and congratulating everyone with a sign of deep respect for every common citizen of this country who did not support violence during all these troublesome months that are no gone along with violence. I would also like to express respect for everyone who didn’t cast their ballot, but yet took part in the final punishment of the scandalous imaginary revolution, by being not involved in any act that would damage the electoral process.
Not only respect, but also deep gratitude to all of those who exercised their right to vote today, no matter about whom they cast their vote.
Thank you very much!
As for the socialists, progressives and activists of every age, from those who never let me feel alone in my stubborn quest through countless encouragement messages; to those who came to listen to me at the peak of the heat during the marathon to June 30 and to those who have finally killed the ghost of the political violence and political hostage of this people, I cannot find words to convey what I do feel!
I know it can’t never be enough, yet I can’t help but say it:
I love you very much!
To me it sounds as the most beautiful expression, which Zaho tells me and I die for.
Long live Albania!
Long live the Socialist Party of Albania!
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