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Shehaj for VOA: I am working for a new political alternative, I have started the meetings

2023-12-04 22:14:00, Politikë CNA

Shehaj for VOA: I am working for a new political alternative, I have started the

Deputy Agron Shehaj, who recently left the group of democrats led by former prime minister Berisha, said that he has started work on a new political force. In an interview for the Voice of America, he said that he has started communication with the citizens, for the construction of what he described as a "true, honest and uncorrupted alternative" for the country.

Mr. Shehaj said that he had informed Mr. Berisha of his decision to leave PD in June and that it was prompted by the lack of will to open the party.

Critics have accused Mr. Shehaj of unclear positions regarding some developments that have affected the Albanian right, since the cooperation with Mr. Berisha even though he was declared non grata by the United States, as well as his silence on the poor election result of the opposition in two local election contests.

Mr. Shehaj said that he had hoped for a change in the DP, a change that, according to him, did not come. "I see that everyone criticizes, but I think that the most important thing is action. I invite them to judge me on the facts and not on what others say".

Voice of America:  Mr. Shehaj, the Parliament of Albania has been non-functional for some time due to the protests of democratic deputies and mainly those deputies who support the former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, as the leader of the DP, who have recently announced a campaign of civil disobedience. What is your opinion regarding this political action of the opposition?

Agron Shehaj : I was not part of the decision-making for this political action, but I can say that the most important thing, regardless of the form that is chosen, to judge any political action, what is most important is to judge the reasons why it is undertaken this political action. The opposition is being denied to set up investigative commissions, this is a right provided by the Constitution of Albania and it is absolutely a violation for which the opposition has the right to fight, then the forms remain to be discussed. As I said, I was not part of this decision-making and I don't want to judge the form, but what interests me more is the reason for this protest, or why it was chosen to protest.

VOA:  But the form is what it is. Is this the right form, that is to smoke in Parliament, setting fire to the chairs, or what is further warned that is civil disobedience?

Agron Shehaj : I was not part of the decision-making and I do not know if other forms of protest were discussed in order to reach the establishment of investigative commissions. I would have preferred some other form, but as I said, I was not part of the meeting and I did not have the opportunity to discuss it. I would have preferred another form.

Voice of America:  However, you can make an assessment, you represent the opposition in parliament...

Agron Shehaj:  To judge the opposition in such a complex situation as the opposition and Albania are in at this moment only by the way they protest, I always talk about investigative commissions, it would be reductive, I believe. Albania's opposition is certainly in a very serious condition, it is in a very serious condition and this is the reason why I have made the decision to leave the DP group, the majority within the DP. Some say that the reason is because the majority has closed every space, as in the present case, for the opposition, on the other hand, there are some who say that the reason why the opposition is in a very serious condition is that the opposition has not known how to renew itself, opens up and brings together people from civil society and other citizens. Both of these reasons I just mentioned are true. It is absolutely true that the opposition has a lack of credibility as a result of the fact that it failed to renew itself, failed to open up, failed to become credible, not to defeat Edi Rama but to offer the Albanians an alternative, an alternative true, a government that Albanians can think will be corrupt, a government that Albanians can trust that it will work for them and not to enrich itself.

Voice of America:  You have made it clear even before that you have left that part of the Democratic Party that is led by Mr. Berisha for the reasons you mentioned. You said that you will continue to be an opposition in the parliament and that you belong to the center-right. Why did you break away from Mr. Berisha and right now? And you have warned before that you will form a new political force. Are you ready for it today?

Agron Shehaj:  I have separated from the Democratic Party, I communicated to the chairman of the Democratic Party, Mr. Berisha, in June, if I am not mistaken, immediately after the local elections, my departure from the Democratic Party. I have not been active during these months and more or less a month ago I made it public as a decision. The reason is what I just mentioned, that it couldn't go on like that, I looked at the lack of direction, the lack of will and a plan to renew the Democratic Party, to open up the Democratic Party, which is the only way we can have that to become reliable with the electorate, and to give a real alternative to Albanians.

VOA:  Will this alternative be a new political force?

Agron Shehaj: Ajo që nuk pata mundësi të bëja apo të jepja kontributin tim për ta bërë brenda Partisë Demokratike është ajo mbi të cilën unë po punoj për ta bërë jashtë Partisë Demokratike. Jam duke punuar mbi një projekt politik, jam duke folur me njerëz. Sigurisht nuk është një gjë e lehtë, politika kërkon këmbëngulje, kërkon sakrifica, sidomos kur nuk je i gatshëm të bësh kompromise dhe sidomos kur vjen nga sektorë ku kanë arritur… duhen njerëz, duhen profesionistë të aftë, që kanë arritur të kenë sukses në fushat e tyre dhe bashkë me ta të ndërtohet një alternativë e vërtetë dhe pse jo e ndershme, e pakorruptuar, për Shqipërinë. Mendoj se ëndrra e çdo shqiptari është që një ditë të qeveriset nga një qeveri e pakorruptuar, të ketë një kryeministër të pakorruptuar.

Zëri i Amerikës: Megjithatë, zoti Shehaj, kritikët tuaj ju kanë përmendur disa momente kyçe që lidhen me opozitën. Kanë përmendur faktin që ju nuk keni patur një reagim të fortë kur Departamenti i Shtetit shpalli non grata zotin Berisha, por përkundrazi u bashkuat me zotin Berisha. Keni thënë se ai kishte shumicën. Tani ju shkëputeni nga zoti Berisha. Nuk keni bërë deklarata të forta për sa i takon rezultateve në zgjedhjet e opozitës. Fillimisht ato të marsit, që ishin të pjesshme. Më pas ato të muajit maj, që ishin një rezultat zhgënjyes duhet thënë për opozitën. Pse duhet shqiptarët t’ju besojnë juve sot, formacionit të ri që ju sapo paralajmëruat që do të ndodhë?

Agron Shehaj:  Let's take them in turn. Regarding the declaration of Mr. Berisha non grata. I have said that there is a majority. I told the truth. I didn't lie. I have not found a pretext. I simply told the truth, that Sali Berisha, despite being declared non grata, had the majority within the Democratic Party. And I believe that the electorate and especially the supporters of the Democratic Party should be heard. We can't pretend we don't hear them. This is a reason to believe me and not to disbelieve me. The fact that despite the fact that it was very easy for me to say that Berisha was declared non grata and does not belong to the leadership of the Democratic Party, I said what people really wanted. The majority wanted Berisha as the head of the Democratic Party. I decided to stay within the Democratic Party despite everything, because I hoped that a change would come. I hoped, like many other democrats I believe, that with the passage of time a change would come, which in fact did not come, especially after the result of the last elections, where practically the result was extremely weak. Of course, there are many reasons why there was that result, because it is impossible for the government to win more than 90% of the municipalities in a pair of democratic elections, that this actually happened. This result is enough to understand what elections we are talking about. Yes, we should not hide behind this result, not to see what problems we had and what we should do and why we did not have the confidence of the majority anyway.

I have spoken with acts. This is how I think it should be done. Always, even when I ran against Mr. Basha, I did not prepare my exit, I did not prepare my decision by opposing and criticizing. More so, not because I couldn't criticize. Because I see that everyone criticizes, but I think that the most important thing is action. Especially when no one is listening. And it is a fact that there is a lack of hearing, let's say. I invite them to judge me on the facts, on what I have done. And not on what others say.

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