Albanian Radio Television (ART) is a public institution, maintained by citizens’ taxes.
But on the other hand this institution is being treated as a private property. It is enough to have the right political connections, and you can abuse, break the law, and not ask about institutions and anyone.
This is the case of Thoma Gëllçi, the director with an expired mandate, who is not leaving the office of ART. Gëllçi’s mandate expired on May 6, 2021, and the Albanian Parliament notified the Board of Directors of ART and announced the vacancy.
According to this procedure, Gëllçi had to leave the office, and then enter the race, in case he wants that post at all costs. In these circumstances, what is currently happening on ART is ridiculous. Gëllçi has taken the ART office “hostage”, with the justification that he is staying there in implementation of the law.
But only he knows which law he is enforcing. Gëllçi didn’t respond the question raised yesterday by CNA.al. Apparently Mr.Gëllçi is an American citizen who found America in Albania. But, with a difference that in America, if your term ends and you go anyway to the office, they kick you out.
While in Albania you can stay if you are a friend of the Prime Minister’s brother. In Albania, you can stay in the position you have, even if you have legal handicaps, while a journalist, citizen or intellectual would hand over the keys of the office and go out, to enter again in the race.
After all, that office and those keys do not belong to the director of ART, as he is a public institution. ART is a property of Albanian citizens, and not the private property of Thoma Gëllçi who came from America. The fact that Thoma Gëllçi doesn’t leave the office, shows another detail of how a public institution is being held hostage to run again.
And to achieve his goal he is standing in the office. There is no big change from the chairman of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, who loses and doesn’t leave the office, and is seeking re-election as acting chairman.
He deceives by saying that he doesn’t leave the mandate to anyone, since the mandate of the deputy director of ART has ended as well and other lies. Although his term has expired, Thoma Gëllçi is afraid that he may lose the race, so he is staying in the office to make favors, to intimidate the board members, as some were elected by Gëllçi himself, with the support of the socialist deputy Musa Ulqini.
Those board members were also specially elected as part of the ART structure from Gëllçi and Ulqini, to be support for the director at the time he was re-elected. Gëllçi is now in office simply and only to be re-elected and for no other reason.
The case of Thoma Gëllçi is the same as that of Bujar Leskaj, at the time when he was in charge of the Supreme State Audit and his mandate expired. But unlike Gëllçi, Leskaj handed over the keys, left the office and left. After several months at the request of President Ilir Meta, he was asked to return to office until the new chairman is elected.
Because the head of KLSH is elected by the Assembly, and the latter didn’t have at that moment the necessary majority to elect the new head of SSA, who today is Arben Shehu. Even in the ART case, could be followed such practice, but Thoma Gëllçi doesn’t leave the office. He doesn’t ask about institutions and laws, but awaits re-election, using all the instruments offered by the post of head of ART./CNA.al