The parliamentary elections conducted peacefully last year gave Albania a slight improvement in theindex of democracy revealed byannual report published byUS Institute Freedom House, according to which the country obtained 4,11 points from 4,14 of the 2016.
However, the victory of the socialist majority, according to the organization's annual report published last Wednesday, increases the opportunity and the risks of an authoritarianism.
The publication reveals concern about the growing non-liberal politics that is characterizing many countries in the Balkan area and its surroundings: such as, for example, the autocratic tendencies of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić or like the negative trends that are developing in Hungary and Poland.
The ratings are based on a scale of one to seven, with one representing the highest level of democratic progress and seven the lowest.
In the Balkans area, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Croatia are considered countries with half-consolidated democracies, while Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia are considered hybrid regimes in which democracy has not yet arrived.
In the specific case of Albania, the report underlines that the victory of the socialist majority during last year's elections can prove to be a double-edged sword: on the one hand it allows the government to make progress in the fight against corruption, from the other, instead, allows the Prime Minister Edi Rama 'authoritarian' practices - like theas President of the Republic - which could lead the country in the opposite direction from that of democracy, or towards authoritarianism.
"For Albania the 2018 promises to improve the government but at the same time also highlights problems of authoritarianism. With a majority in parliament, the ruling Socialist Party and its prime minister have a clear opportunity to implement important reforms potentially useful in reducing corruption in the country. On the other hand, complete control possessed by Prime Minister Rama can also lead to institutions with authoritarian tendencies. " - reads the Freedom House report.
Albania is considered a country that has made as many steps forward as backwards, whose responsibility always to be mostly Rama. For example, when some senior police officers were arrested last year for ties to crime, this step was negatively compensated by the controversial decision of the socialist parliamentary majority to reject the prosecution's request for the arrest of the former interior minister Saimir Tahiri .
For this - the report states - that the unilateral choice of the attorney general Arta Marku, the votes of the socialist majority, the parliamentary boycott by the opposition, which hindered the creation of new justice bodies, and Rama's practice of having a government under his control could lead to negative developments on democracy.
Ilir Meta replies to Freedom House report
The Albanian President of the Republic Ilir Meta replied today to the report published by the NGO Freedom House, which in the chapter on the state of democracy in Albania claimed that "The fight against corruption suffered a blow with the election, last April 28, to the post of the President of the Republic, of Ilir Meta, seen by the citizens as a symbol of corruption".
Tedi Blushi, Meta's spokesman stated that "We note with regret the use of the report according to unilateral political agendas in Albania. President Meta was elected following a democratic process in accordance with the constitution, at a delicate moment for the country. In a forced and unilateral way, the relationship not only deformed the reality of the facts, but in a speculative way tries to create artificial focuses ", the spokesman argued.
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