Although it will take almost 3 more months, the parliamentary elections on April 25 seem to be at the door. The campaign has begun, and the parties are doing the math. From south to north, they count the expected votes translated into MP seats.
CNA.al brings a complete analysis of the votes and mandates in 3 regions, based on the figures of the last 3 elections, since it started voting with the regional proportional system. The figures are according to official data on the CEC website. A report on the figures, but also the situation and expectations, reveals that these 3 regions seem to be the electoral battlefield of April 25.
They have together 64 seats, almost half of the parliamentary seats, and more than half of the population in the country. Edi Rama and the Socialist Party aim to retain 74 seats. Lulzim Basha, Monika Kryemadhi and their allies want the overthrow, while the new opposition Patozi-Topalli, want to be parliamentary factors. In many regions from north to south the results are almost expected and known as in Kukës, Korçë, Shkodër, Lezhë, Gjirokastër, Vlorë, Dibër etc.
Therefore, the battle seems to be focused on the 3 main regions of Elbasan, Durrës and Tirana, which have the majority of voters but also the mandates. In these areas, the election headquarters have already started the campaign, appointing the delegates.
i They have the largest number of population, consequently the largest number of seats. Meanwhile, they are governed by left-wing mayors. But they also have their electoral specifics, where Elbasan is seen to be leaning to the left, and in the last 3 parliamentary elections the Socialists have won 2 times, and once have drawn.
In this region, DP has appointed Gazment Bardhi as campaign leader, while SMI has appointed Monika Kryemadhi. But the opposition has lost the PDIU and the electoral force of Aqif Rakipi, who seems to distance himself from the Basha-Kryemadhi duo.
The Socialists have as their leader the campaign Taulant Balla, who has historically been elected deputy in this region. Democrats don’t seem to aim for victory here, but the draw that could be declared victory, as they recover 2 seats. In the last elections, DP plus SMI won only 5 out of 14 seats. Two mandates were taken by PDIU under the leadership of Aqif Rakipi, who is far from the coalition with Luli Basha and Kryemadhi.
The Socialists will aim to preserve the existing mandates and not allow Basha’s opposition to recover mandates in this region. In 2009, the two political camps were divided in a draw, while in 2013 the left-wing coalition won deeply, with 8 to 6 seats, and the SP has almost 30.000 more votes than the DP. The electoral advantage is also the local government, which in these elections is led by the socialists. In the previous 3 elections, the SP had the largest municipality of Elbasan in the region, but the DP controlled many of the communes and small municipalities of this region, which were changed after the administrative reform and ”donated” to Socialists at the table by Lulzim Basha, who boycotted the local elections.
Durrës is seen as a stronghold for the DP, where Basha and Kryemadhi hope to secure not only a draw, but 2 additional mandates. The Socialists will try to maintain the victory, as in the last elections 2017, the DP won only 4 seats and the SMI 2, SP secured 8 seats, crushing the opposition. Durrës is one of the areas where Edi Rama and the Socialists are working more intensively than in any other region, this also with the reconstruction due to the consequences left by the earthquake of November 26, 2019. This region is seen as a bastion of the right, and in 2005 climbed the DP to power. But today we seem to be in a different situation.
Basha is represented in Durrës with recycled and politically consumed figures, such as Edi Paloka or Ferdinand Xhaferraj. The DP branch itself there is divided. Meanwhile, the Socialists have provided in their team the services of Lefter Koka, which weakens the SMI and strengthens the votes of the left. On the other hand, DP has additional votes of Agron Duka. In 2017, the Socialists won 8 seats, 4 more than the DP and 2 more than the current DP+SMI alliance. In 2009 the DP and the allies secured 7 seats, the SP 5 and the SMI only 1.
And in those elections Durrës region had 13 seats. On April 25 there will be one more term, but the accounts are already different. The Socialists control the local government, “donated” by Basha’s non-inclusion in the elections in all local units.
In 2 of the last 3 confrontations, the Socialists led the main municipality, that of Durrës, but the DP had control of many municipalities in this region. Tirana is the epicenter of the political battle, as there are 36 mandates in the game. In the last 2 parliamentary elections, the opposition has suffered strong electoral losses to the point of trauma. In 2017, the DP couldn’t get more than 11 seats, none more than in 2013. Already adding those 5 of the SMI in a mathematical calculation doesn’t come out the winner.
The SP alone secured 18 of the 34 seats in 2017. In 2013, Tirana was again an embarrassing defeat, but Sali Berisha at the time was careful to minimize it because the campaign leader, Lulzim Basha, was elected as the “heir” at the helm of the DP.
The Democrats won 13 seats in the coalition, while the Socialists won 19, of which 3 seats belonged to the SMI. SP had 5 mandates and almost 50.000 votes more than DP. Seeing the result of the 2009 elections, SP and DP are a draw, but the other two mandates (at that time there were 32 mandates in Tirana region), were taken by Ilir Meta and Fatmir Mediu, the first running alone, while the second in the coalition with DP.
Tirana region, which in some last elections had municipalities but also communes led by DP, such as Kamza, Vora, Kavaja, are already in the hands of the socialists. Electoral accounts in Tirana cannot be done without Erion Veliaj, who has taken over the campaign flag, being very active not only in the capital but also in Kavaja and Rrogozhina.
The opposition hopes a lot on the political consumption of Prime Minister Rama, for the scandals of the Socialists in these 8 years of power, where 4 years they have been with the main ally of the DP today, the SMI.
Rama and the Socialists see the opposition powerless, failed and without ideas, and will try to maintain or increase the mandates to govern the country and another 4 years. The enigma is solved on April 25 in exactly 3 of the 12 regions of Albania./CNA.al