BRUSSELS / TIRANA – The Political Assembly of the European People’s Parties (EPP) approved on Tuesday an “emergency resolution” on Albania, presented by the Greek party New Democracy, which requires the Albanian authorities to allow the swearing-in of the elected mayor of Himara, Fredi Beleri.
MEPs expressed their concerns regarding the arrest of Beleris by the Albanian authorities on the eve of the May local elections and demanded his immediate release. They strongly condemn the Albanian government’s actions against Beleris and its direct interference in the electoral proceedings, which go against European values.
The resolution stresses that the Albanian government’s disrespect for the rule of law, fundamental rights, the rights of the Greek minority, and, above all, the acquis communautaire, creates a political gap between Albania and the EU. MEPs underlined that no country that strives to be a member of the European Union should act in this way.
In the resolution, the EPP calls on the Albanian authorities to ensure that voters are able to exercise their fundamental democratic rights through free and fair elections. “Everybody should abide by the laws, the electoral rules, as well as all major international norms”, EPP stresses.
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama has reacted again to the case of elected Chimara Mayor, in response to the EPP Resolution.
Rama wrote X (formerly Twitter) that the problem is not the result of the May election but of the courts. He said that Albanian authorities are ready to provide the right information to the EPP regarding the case of Fredi Beleri.
“Interesting! ‘We appeal to the Albanian authorities…’ An appeal without specifying which authorities and, certainly, without being informed that in this case the problem is not the result of the elections, but of the courts which have rejected such a request. I used ‘certainly’ because it would be really worrying if the big European People’s Party passed a resolution entitled ‘Rule of Law’ to demand a different outcome than the one decided by the Special Prosecution for Corruption and Organized Crime and Special Courts with the same name”, Rama wrote.
He added that these institutions “were established with the full support of the EU and the US and are closely assisted by the US and EU in their so far impressive work against corruption and organized crime”.
Interesting! “We call upon Albanian authorities”… A call without specifying which authorities and, for sure, without being informed that the problem in this case is not the outcome of the elections, but the outcome of the courts, which have already refused such a demand⚖️.
— Edi Rama (@ediramaal) September 5, 2023