Is SPAK leading us towards early elections in the fall?!

2023-08-19 19:16:03Pikëpamje SHKRUAR NGA SKëNDER MINXHOZI
Edi Rama/ Taulant Balla/ Damian Gjiknuri

Perhaps the answer to this question should be sought not among the news of this August full of tourists and messy beaches, but something earlier.

Three weeks ago the socialists called their Assembly and within an hour dismissed the entire secretariat, more precisely the general secretary Gjiknuri and the other eight secretaries in a row.

Since then, the party has been left without a secretariat, while Gjiknuri has been replaced by an emergency person who is more like a spare tire for emergencies.

What happened in the Socialist Assembly is something that went unnoticed by the media, but which in fact marks a unique behavior, when a large party gathers to analyze a historic victory and at the end of the meeting the heads of all the political leaders are waiting for you .

On May 14, SP won 53 of the 61 municipalities listed in the competition. He managed to take Shkodra and Tropoja for the first time, shrinking Berisha and Meta to a space the size of a handkerchief: only seven second-rate municipalities in the entire territory of Albania.

Any elementary logic would require that the eight secretaries and their boss Gjiknuri be promoted by the Assembly, not politically shot.

The massive election victory presupposed a party of winners, not a reprisal of the entire party elite. Rama did not even deign to deliver his once inevitable televised speech at the opening of the Assembly, making the atmosphere around the event even more surreal.

However, this was the decision of the Prime Minister and as such it should be weighed and analyzed in the light of future developments in the SP, which influence the entire Albanian political scene.

Another very important element completed the gray frame that the July Assembly created, with its decisions. It was announced that another similar meeting would be held in early September, which would determine the date and agenda of the extraordinary congress. Why an extraordinary congress, and not an ordinary congress?!

What urgency does the Socialist Party, all-powerful in the two parliamentary and local mandates it received in 2021 and 2023 have, to urgently convene the congress, after dismissing everyone who held a post in July?!

This is where we enter the slippery and unstable terrain of assumptions. Which would not be complete, if we did not analyze the reasons that led Rama to empty the offices at the head of the party in the middle of the summer and after a great electoral victory.

The prime minister knows very well that behind the facade of the winner lies the growing consumption of governance, accidents and falls, surprises and disappointment, along with the risk of losing power.

And the symbol of this other side of the coin for the party that has won everything in this country in the last decade, has the name SPAK.

Although formally Rama has made the arrests and sensational investigations that the special prosecutor's office has launched in recent months against the highest figures of the majority, he is aware that criminal responsibility is personal, while political responsibility goes much further than that. It affects the entire political group to which the accused persons belong.

This new situation, which the prime minister is trying hard to read as a "success of the new justice initiated by the SP", is becoming more and more complex, the more the list of those hit by the majority of his party gets longer.

And as such, it could at some point translate into an unpredictable cost to Rama and his government over the coming months.

In fact, the dome of the party was torpedoed not because it won over Berisha on May 14, but because SP is not able to win over SPAK.

It is now clearly outlined that the only "rival" of Edi Rama left in the field, after the en bloc collapse of the worn-out opposition of Berisha and Meta (both of them are waiting with their hands on their hearts for any lightning from the prosecutors), is SPAK and Altin Dumani .

This completely unique situation is creating a new dynamic of relations and movements in the Albanian political elite, which slips away from the traditional reading. Even Rama, but together with Basha, Berisha and Meta, have a hard time deciphering the movements of SPAK, which has turned into a real sense of the word, an underwater mine that is being moved silently under the feet of Albanian politicians.

The only possible political reaction, as old as the world, to this indecipherable danger, remains the placing of the mandate in the hands of the voters.

A new mandate for the winner (and Rama is rightly still considered as such in the current conditions), would constitute a new political harness as well as another four years at the head of the state.

On the contrary, a passive expectation of what comes out of the SPAK magicians' cylinder, would be a lottery that would burden the position and shares of the government in the stock market of public opinion.

Perhaps Rama and Basha are feeling, from their positions and for different interests, the need to react to this new situation that Albanian politics has entered after the SPAK investigations. Both of them have called the congresses of their parties in the month of September.

Is this something coordinated, or is it the instinct that is calling the parties to organize and wear the "war uniform"?! It's useless to enter into conjectures because they are completely divisive, depending on who is holding a microphone or public podium.

The two biggest political symbols of the country, and with them the media and the remaining opposition, are starting September not with the annual gossip of changes in the government, but with congresses and assemblies.

It is an arsenal that is usually used in the run-up to elections, not in the normal early autumn seasons of parliament. We are probably smelling an election.