SLOWLY DYING ALBANIAN DEMOCRACY, AND THE DANGEROUS RISING OF A CORRUPTED AUTOCRACY.
SLOWLY DYING ALBANIAN DEMOCRACY, AND THE DANGEROUS RISING OF A CORRUPTED AUTOCRACY.
The American Albanian Communities across the United States, which represent the patriotic values of our great country, are forever grateful to America. We are especially thankful for the opportunities that America offers to all immigrant groups, to live and to grow our families with dignity, to work and actively contribute to our free society, and most importantly to be very proud to call ourselves American citizens.
We are also grateful for the continuing support of the United States to all Albanians living in different countries in the Balkan region. With the ongoing help of the United States, Albanians in Kosova are now living in freedom. Albanians in Northern Macedonia and Montenegro are respected citizens and better represented politically. Due to the support and the leadership of the United States, the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe is turning into a peaceful region, where human rights are respected, and different ethnic groups are treated equally and are actively participating in the political and democratic process.
Despite the overall progress that has been made, the American Albanians have lately observed some serious drawbacks in the democratization process of the country of Albania, the homeland for all Albanians around the world. The country that in the early nineties broke free from one of the most brutal communist regimes in entire Eastern Europe, is now in the brink of becoming a corrupted autocracy, where the constitutional principles are violated, the checks and balances are being removed, the opposition rights are being denied, voting rights are illegally violated, the judicial system is not functioning, the economy is slowing down, and is fully dominated and controlled by the Albanian oligarchs, the unemployment is rising like never before, and the best and most educated Albanians are leaving the country in some frightening numbers.
We are deeply concerned to see our country of origin, where we still have family and relatives, experiencing some serious political issues such as:
1. Albania is currently led by the Socialist Party, the successor of the former communist party. Prime Minister Edi Rama, who came to power in 2013, continues to hold the power despite the numerous serious allegations of collusion with the organized crime, evidence of which have been tens of Edi Rama’s direct appointments to public offices, local and central administration offices, of individuals who have had criminal backgrounds. In many instances, the socialist government has been implementing corrupted practices for regulating and controlling the economy, protecting the special interests of private individuals and companies against the public interest, and it is believed by the majority of Albanians that Prime Minister Rama is today the head of the Albanian oligarchy.
In addition, he is controlling the legislative branch and the judicial system by manipulating the implementation of the judicial reform. Through the control of the parliament, Edi Rama now is proposing laws to limit the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, while on the other hand, he has established his own television network called ERTV, in his craziest efforts to poison the public opinion with his political propaganda.
Surprisingly and unfortunately, this corrupted autocrat is currently being supported by American diplomacy.
The American Government should be informed and aware of the long-term negative consequences of supporting corrupted leaders like Prime Minister Edi Rama.
2. The United States of America has continuously encouraged and assisted the political parties in Albania by investing and dedicating resources, to reform and build a strong democratic system. One of the latest reforms, for which Albanians were so grateful, was the judicial reform, whose goal was to establish a brand-new judicial system that is independent of political influence and freed from corrupted individuals (judges and prosecutors). The new judicial system was intended and theoretically designed to establish a strong independent branch of the democratic system that will be able to serve the Albanian people, who have always demanded justice. After the unanimous approval by the parliament of the constitutional amendments that would build the legal groundwork and provide the legal framework of the judicial reform, the implementation of such important reform was unfortunately delayed for years, and is now alleged that from a judicial system that was controlled for many years by both political sides, the new judicial system is slowly falling only on the hands of the socialist party and the current Prime Minister Edi Rama.
The poor and careless implementation of the reform has now changed the public perception and has made most of the Albanians believe that the judicial reform was initiated and intended to give the socialists full control of the system. It is also believed that in this effort, the left wing in Albania was greatly assisted by the George Soros organizations operating in Albania. This entire political agenda was unfortunately supported by the U.S Embassy in Tirana.
Albanians for many years have also witnessed the close connections between the socialist Prime Minister Rama, his socialist government, and the George Soros organizations. Albanians today have named the much anticipated judicial reform as “the George Soros reform”, and believe that the ongoing reform implementation is slowly giving the socialists full control of the new judicial system, while the country’s Constitutional Court and the High Court are not functional.
The American Government must immediately be informed, and if necessary launch an investigation about the wrong implementation of the judicial reform in Albania. American Albanians in America demand the immediate attention of the American Government. George Soros political agenda in Albania must be stopped immediately.
3. One of the most fundamental rights of democracy is the right to vote and to run for the public office. Albania’s electoral system traditionally has shown problems that have been related to the organization and the management of the elections, and problems related to the legal framework.
In addition to the problems described above, in the last local elections held in 2015 and in the 2017 parliamentary elections, some very serious violations and irregularities have been publicly observed and identified. The systematic and nationwide involvements of criminals and organized crime in elections fraud and manipulation on behalf of the socialist party have seriously compromised the outcome of both elections. The collusion between the organized crime, the corrupted oligarchs, the controlled media, and the socialists in power, marks the biggest violation of the democratic principles, and it is the biggest electoral crime ever committed by any political group in Albania.
Most of the socialist candidates allegedly have financed their campaigns with the money coming from illegal activities, such as drug trade and corrupted government contracts.
One evidence of this is the case of the former Minister of Interior SaimirTahiri, who is now officially indicted and is facing justice in the court of law.
To make things worse, in the 2019 local elections, Prime Minister Rama and his government, organized elections without the participation of the opposition parties. A fake and undemocratic process has brought Albania’s elections standards to the historic lowest point since the dark era of communism.
Surprisingly and unfortunately, Prime Minister Rama has been publicly supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, absolutely in disregard to the principles and ideals this great country stands for.
4. The overall picture of the political environment in Albania right now is described as highly polarized and antagonistic, that creates a very high risk for the stability of a country that is a NATO ally.
Unfortunately, today Albania remains a poor country, even though the country possesses great natural resources and has wonderful and hardworking people. This is because the future of Albania is hijacked by irresponsible political leaders. The old retaliatory mentality of the entire political leadership has seriously damaged the interests of the country that aspires to become soon a European Union member. The political environment is poisoned by the hatred of the old mentality. This mentality must change.
Other radical political and constitutional changes should be made. The entire system is falling, a dangerous autocracy is rising on the horizon of our country of origin, the country that we love as much as we love the United States of America.
The America Government should stay on the side of the Albanian people and continue to be the beacon of hope against any corrupted autocracy in the world.
This petition intends to raise awareness among Albanians living in Albania and abroad, and to request the kind attention of the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the American Administration, as well as to inform the American Lawmakers being involved with the U.S. foreign policy.
Albania is currently in the crossroads, and desperately needs the help of our great country, America.
Petition date: July 8th, 2019
Distributed online, on the social media, and the press.
Delivered to the WH, DoS, US Congress (House of Representatives and Senate).