Less than 24h from now the Albanian citizens will hold a protest against the government. It is expected to be the biggest protest of the last years. But why is the Albanian opposition and the Albanian citizens protesting?
The definition of protest is: “An expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid”.
Some of Albanian intellectuals are defying this protest as manifest of democracy and some others as begging of a new big thing. There are many things to change in Albania but for more is looking for hope and future.
On December 2015 with the proposal of the Democratic Party, the Albanian parliament adopted the decriminalization law. It was adopted because a couple of MPs of the Socialist Party were found guilty of human trafficking, drug dealing and murder in their past.
Now we can see the impact of this law as some MPs have already lost their mandates in the parliament and some others are expected to leave the parliament soon. As a response an alarming report of the World Economic Forum shows that in 2015 28% of the Albanian population left the country and 200.000 others had applied for US lottery.
Other statistics show that youth unemployment has increased these last years by 5%.
The Albanian institute of statistics shows that people spent 50 million dollars more to get health care in comparison to the previous year.
Public debt has risen to an unjustifiable height of 75%.
These are numbers that undeniably show that something has gone terribly wrong in the country and that there is a general loss of hope.
There is a small village in the south-east of the country called Lazarat and it was famous for its cannabis plantations and I have personally had the chance to meet foreigners who have heard about it and wanted to visit.
Now I have a “good news and a bad news”.
The “bad news” is that there are no more cannabis plantations in Lazarat but the “good news” is that the whole country is a “Lazarat” now. Albania has become a “Lazarat” itself now and it is no secret. Everyone (but the government officials) who traveled last year from one city to another has seen in the villages of almost every city cannabis plantations. No drug lord has been arrested so far.
For the above mentioned reasons, the opposition parties of the country, led by the Democratic Party and its Chairman Lulzim Basha, have called a protest this Saturday, tomorrow. As national elections are expected to happen on June 18th. Someone might ask why is the opposition protesting when elections are coming? Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end here. The opposition has requested electronic voting system for the upcoming elections. Based on the last national and local elections, the traditional voting has higher risks of results manipulation. The only solution that could reduce the manipulation is the electronic voting, but the Socialist Party doesn’t agree with it. Free elections is the top reason why the opposition and the Albanian people will be protesting tomorrow. Free elections are a solution to the unemployment, corruption, cannabis, security.
The Albanian people don’t need to wait for the election date to express their disappointment, their anger, their frustration.
The biggest protest of these last years in Europe is still going on in Rumania, for 17 days now. Romanian people are still in the streets protesting against the corrupted officials and against the government. In the meantime, the political situation in a EU candidate country like Albania, seems not to be very normal/acceptable either. The Romanian people have shown to the world what people can do when they are united. They are an inspiration to us all.
Can Albania be a second Romania?