After the fall of the communist regime, the 23 elections last June are undoubtedly the most important event in the history of political pluralism in Albania. However, these elections should not be considered as a point of arrival, it is simply a promising start. Our democracy has not matured this summer, but it has begun to show that it is putting healthy roots.
Right now it seems that the Albanian left has won. Whoever the winners are, I hope that the celebrations are as modest as possible and do not last longer than expected because they are waiting for a mind-boggling job.
The right seems dejected, but this should not surprise us because in many respects the Democratic Party has taken on the grisly features of the Labor Party for years and it seems that Berisha thinks and decides on everything. In particular in recent times, Berisha had surrounded himself with a herd of servants (as is almost always the case with political leaders in Albania and Kosovo, who consider the parties they inherited or founded as private property), which in the name of personal interests flattered this "glorious" leader to the stars, just as courtiers and militants did with Ahmet Zogu and Enver Hoxha in other times.
The biggest mistake of the Albanian right wing, and in this they are not the only sinners, was to believe that the people are a flock of sheep to send to the river whenever they did not want to bathe their feet.
Our people have often been deluded and disappointed by the so-called visionary guides in these 100 years of Albanian state. Although we are no longer occupied and to some extent independent of others, we Albanians have not yet freed ourselves from our chains.
Leaving aside the folk patriotism on the free spirit of the Albanians, our inertia and indifference towards the state could be explained by the fact that - excluding some brief periods - starting from the Roman occupation of the second century BC we have always been under the occupation of others. The unlimited power syndrome has left signs in our psychosis, but the consequences, although always in a democracy, are difficult to cure immediately, especially in a democracy that we uproot from the roots every time we plant a new tree.
This is the reason why every idealist or adventurer who has engaged in Albanian politics in the last 100 years has had no difficulty in declaring himself monarch or considering himself as such by his successors at a time when monasticism has disintegrated and continues to wander as anachronism in the Western democracies.
It is a pity that the three dominant figures in the first century of the Albanian state - Zogu, Hoxha and Berisha - did not have the sense of self-containment in certain cases so that the contribution they gave at certain moments of their political career to advantage of the homeland did not disappear because of their reprehensible actions, causing serious consequences for Albanian politics and the cohesion of the state and the nation.
The results of the June 23 are not only due to the left: the left will certainly have the opportunity to prove whether it justifies the mandate of the people. More than a vote of confidence for the left, the 23 June is a sort of protest against a clique that has identified itself with hypocritical and conjunctural diatribes on a series of issues as delicate as currently impossible both on the state and national levels, with the sole purpose of perpetuating one's permanence in power.
This clique has attributed a negative connotation and profoundly altered the very concept of "democracy", of which it is appropriately appropriated. This is one of the main reasons why democracy remains an amateur ideal for us Albanians. It could not happen otherwise since we continue to struggle to build what would be useful to all of us, namely a legally functioning state in which no one is placed above the law.
The 23 June puts an end to an Albanian neo-dictatorship with fascist traits up to a certain point. The Albanian state in recent decades, particularly during the 2005 elections, has become the stronghold of parochial feudalism in which a tribal mentality reigns, a disgusting arrogance and the dangerous tendency to rewrite history. We are almost used to considering what is abnormal normal and we have lost hope that criminals, whoever they may be, are judged and punished according to the law.
It is true that the Albanian right is now in crisis, but this should constitute a moment of awakening for the healthy part that belongs to its ranks so that they distance themselves from the irresponsible and criminal elements. These elements can now also be counted among the leftists, some of which unfortunately will be able to occupy positions in the new government. Albanian politics still remains a polluted pond, in which, for a few years, corrupt elements will continue to pretend to be shameless little angels while the honest will have to get their hands dirty with the incorrigible with or without their intention.
Now that the elections are over, it will be interesting to see how many deputies will have the courtesy to go and meet their constituents regularly every week and every month as their western colleagues do; how many deputies will demonstrate with facts that they are representatives of the citizens of all the areas they represent and not just those who sympathize with the right or the left; how many deputies will dare to raise their voices in the new parliament to demand investments for their regions, especially for the more remote ones left to themselves so much that they cannot distinguish them from the poorest areas of Africa; and how many deputies will have the courage to tell state leaders and their parties that they will resign if they fail to fulfill their electoral promises.
The 23 last June, of his own free will, the electorate gave a good lesson to the right that I hope will serve as an early warning to the left. It is up to the Albanian political class to draw the appropriate lessons from this electoral earthquake as soon as possible.
Four years pass quickly and the Albanian people, of long memory, are gradually freeing themselves of their bonds.
Published in the Albanian section of Albania News the 25 June 2013. Original title: "Demokracia shqiptare dhe ndërgjegjësimi i elektoratit".
Translated for Albania News by Daniela Vathi.
Read the article too "Albanian democracy at the crossroads" of 10 February 2011