By Elvi FUNDO
Lulzim Basha is the man with the most shades in Albanian politics. Where it seems to have shone a little, it seems that it is in fact a ray coming out of a black cloud that covers the man, who in 16 years of politics has stayed only in positions donated by Sali Berisha, who today is the next “victim” of the ghost Luli created by the shadows of Basha.
For 6 years, CNA.al, in a clear strong opposition position with the Rama government, has never been on Basha’s side, clearly reading his acts as the actions of a man who doesn’t have the proper political wisdom, but he isn’t a fool.
Basha has always been a character who behaved like a businessman at a party where the word has lost its former weight, and where a conservative political force, was turning into a liberal-leftist one. In fact, throughout Lulzim Basha’s career, CNA.al has listed many facts and accusations of his political approach.
In fact very often people have not trusted us, they have reacted harshly. But time has already proved everything. All the facts are now being said out loud by all the Democrats, who today admit that Lulzim Basha is a loser, a political trader, and in the end an unstoppable deceiver.
Already after many shadows in his political career, he has turned into the ghost of the Democrats. Below we are listing one by one 50 shades of Lulzim Basha. They can be more, and not less.
There may be some that we have united, some that we have not expanded much, but they all stand and are important for his 16 years in Albanian politics. Because they are not only personal shades of Lulzim Basha, but also storms that have fallen on the shoulders of Albanians and Democrats in particular.
1-Entering the DP and taking over the leadership of the POC. Lulzim Basha joined the Democratic Party in 2005, introduced to this party by former Prime Minister Sali Berisha. Although he came from “the street” and without any contribution to the DP, the first task given to Lulzim Basha was the coordinator of the Policy Orientation Committee.
He entered in Albanian Parliament after the 2005 parliamentary elections. Although he was “sold” as a Western leader, educated in the Netherlands, etc., there are doubts that the truth is different. He is uneducated, or at least it took him 12 years to complete his studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
In the CV published on the official website of the Democratic Party, Basha doesn’t tell when he finished school. “In 1993, he began his studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, where he also graduated in European and International Law” – it is said in his CV, without mentioning the year of graduation.
After the 2005 parliamentary elections, Basha became Minister of Transport, a position he held for about two years. The “shadow” that haunts him is the scandal with Nation Road. A report of the Supreme State Audit, talks about 230 million euros of abuses from the money of Albanians.
In 2007, Lulzim Basha was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the time he was Foreign Minister, a “shadow” that continues to persecute Lulzim Basha, is the signing of the agreement on territorial waters with Greece. In April 2009, Lulzim Basha, then Foreign Minister, signed the sea agreement with Greece, which was later overturned by the Constitutional Court.
After the 2009 elections, when he was elected deputy of Elbasan, Lulzim Basha was appointed Minister of Interior in the new Berisha government. He was holding that post when during a protest on January 21, 2011, 4 protesters were killed in the square in front of the building of the Council of Ministers.
6-Stolen local elections.
With the help and support of Sali Berisha in the 2011 local elections, Basha became mayor of Tirana. In fact Rama was 11 votes ahead. But it was Arben Ristani, then chairman of the CEC, who “pulled” out of the boxes over 110 other votes that made Lulzim Basha mayor. And for 4 years he did nothing. Some voices also speak of a strong intervention by Sali Berisha.
During the time he led the Municipality of Tirana, Lulzim Basha will be remembered for the tram that he promised, and that was never built. His justification was that the funds were blocked by the Rama government.
8-Boulevard widening project, bargains and charges.
At the time, it was said that Basha’s project, was aimed at evicting residents affected by the implementation of the New Boulevard project in Tirana, without being expropriated at the market price.
9-While running the Municipality of Tirana, Basha gave a building permit to his father-in-law’s partner.
CNA.al has previously published two construction permits. One on Elbasan Street and the other on Ali Demi Street, two buildings built by Lulzim Basha’s father-in-law’s partner, Xhuvi Sharxhi. Both permits are signed by Lulzim Basha, at the time he was mayor of Tirana.
10-The company founded by his brother-in-law, during the time when Lulzim Basha was in charge of the Municipality of Tirana.
“Landmark Communication”, is the company of Lulzim Basha’s brother-in-law. It started its activity in 2012, and in 2019 it reached its peak with a turnover of almost 2.4 billion Lek.
Millions of dollars and billions of Lek don’t seem to be a problem for Lulzim Basha, as he himself has such a dizzying wealth. But when he speaks in public about the oligarchs and businesses that pay his brother-in-law’s company, which is run by Lulzim Basha’s wife, who is present 24 hours a day in “Landmark Communication”, this shows who is the leader of the New Republic.
11-After the 2013 parliamentary elections, Lulzim Basha took over the leadership of the Democratic Party.
In a race where the real racer seemed Sali Berisha, Basha became the leader of the largest opposition party in the country, even though he entered the DP without any contribution, accompanied by many scandals, when he was minister and mayor of Tirana.
A detail that stands out in the statements of the leader of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, is the fact that he has remained silent about George Soros, beyond a single word during the protests of the Tent. The DP leader has been very careful in his public articulation of George Soros.
Lulzim Basha’s silence seems to stem from his close relationship with the Soros Foundation. The latter had never entered the DP headquarters until 2014, when Basha would receive him in a meeting, with Grida Duma, Eduard Selami and Gerti Bogdani at his side.
It all starts in 1995, where according to a document published and widely circulated in the media, Basha has secured from Soros a fund of 7324 dollars together with his wife. According to the data, this amount of money was given when Basha was studying at Utrecht University, which took him about 12 years to complete.
In 2015, Lulzim Basha didn’t participate in this reform, leaving the socialist majority free to do as they wanted, which brought a lot of electoral costs to the Democratic Party.
15-Loss of local elections in 2015.
After boycotting the Territorial Reform, Lulzim Basha lost also the local elections. The Democratic Party managed to take only 14 municipalities, and Lulzim Basha himself was responsible for this.
This is one of the most clientelist laws of the government of Prime Minister Edi Rama. Basha promised to take him to the Constitutional Court, but he never did. It was exactly this law that brought the student protests at the end of 2018, which Basha didn’t support.
After Lulzim Basha took over the leadership of the Democratic Party, began for the first time in the history of this political force clashes with the United States of America.
The first is the arrival of Ambassador Donald Lu, who was the first to come to Albania, articulating a message in the Albanian language and clearly his main mission was Justice Reform. During his term, he constantly clashed with the leader of the Democratic Party, and for this was attacked by his media and especially on the social networks by a call-center, located at the headquarters of this party.
Lulzim Basha chose the path of boycott again. Although he didn’t participate, in the end he was forced to sign it, after open threats from the international community. After meetings and interventions by ambassadors, in July 2016, the Albanian Parliament approved by unanimous vote the Justice Reform.
In February 2017, Lulzim Basha brought the Democrats in the Tent to a long protests. He kept them there with empty promises for almost 3 months. Then came the dirty political bargaining. In the final there was an agreement with Rama and betrayal of the DP cause.
In March 2017, Lulzim Basha declared from the Tent that Fatmir Xhafaj couldn’t be appointed as Minister of Interior. “Let us pledge together that Fatmir Xhafa will not be able to cross the threshold of the Ministry of Interior, except on our troops”- declared Basha at the time. But Fatmir Xhafaj “passed over the body” of Lulzim Basha, and in the parliamentary session of March 23, 2017, was approved as Minister of Interior.
After dragging the Democrats to the Tent for almost 3 months, on the evening of May 17, 2017, Basha made an agreement with Prime Minister Edi Rama, the details of which were never made public. But the events that followed revealed many details. Including 16 million euros for the demolition of one of the palaces of Lulzim Basha’s father-in-law, built on the sand of the Ionian Sea in Vlora.
22-The co-government with Rama.
After the agreement of May 17, 2017, the Rama-Basha co-government began. Basha took half of the government, and both ruled until after the June 2017 elections.
The chairman of the New Republic, Lulzim Basha, prepared in 2017 a list of candidates for MPs, closed alone in his office. He “killed” the Democratic Party elite and announced at midnight a list of candidates with clowns and public charlatans. He introduced anonymous people in the DP, without any contribution to this political force. Not to mention the accusations of selling and buying mandates.
After the agreement with the Prime Minister Edi Rama, in June 2017, on the eve of the general parliamentary elections, Lulzim Basha published on social networks a photo with the former US President, Donald Trump. It was reported in the media that Trump’s photo had cost him about 20.000 dollars.
President Trump attended a fundraising evening for a candidate of his party. Trump took pictures with anyone who was present and paid 20.000 dollars. Basha has bought a ticket to enter this evening, and the price of such a ticket is 10-20 thousand dollars (depending on the position where you will sit). In fact a scandal erupted after a dubious funding of over $1 million dollars.
25-Lobbying scandal with Russian funding.
We remember here the scandal of lobbying with Nick Muzin in the US, where were paid 1 million 25 thousand dollars, an issue for which Lulzim Basha has given 3 different versions.
Alptekin is known as a friend and collaborator of Lulzim Basha, and the honorary consul of Albania in Turkey, appointed by Basha. On the other hand, he is a character who is often rumored to have supported Lulzim Basha a lot.
In an interview he says he has been to the US during the transition period between the Obama and Trump presidencies, and during the first 2 months of the Trump presidency. This coincides with the time that Basha has been in the US, from the inauguration of President Trump to the contracts signed for lobbying with Nick Muzin.
After the Tents’protests, after the agreement with the Prime Minister Edi Rama, and after preparing a scandalous list of candidates for MPs, Lulzim Basha caused the Democrats an electoral catastrophe in the June 2017 elections. DP received about 230.000 votes less than in 2013, ie the day it came out in opposition.
28-After the 2017 elections, Lulzim Basha publicly stated that he would not vote for the election of Gramoz Ruçi as Speaker of the Assembly. But “surprisingly”, there was an outflow of votes from the parliamentary group of Lulzim Basha. At least 4-6 deputies voted in favor of Gramoz Ruçi. The scandal was never investigated within the DP, in orden to reveal who were those who voted for Ruçi.
At a time when Albanians are impoverished, and business is in crisis, the businesses of Lulzim Basha’s brother-in-law “surprisingly” only increase their profits.
30-The famous call center of Lulzim Basha, who attacks and insults with fake profiles on social networks anyone who criticizes him.
The WL hasn’t made elections for almost 12 years, and de facto does not function as an organization. Basha has totally destroyed it, it exists only formally. While the Youth Forum is run by “retirees”.
In June 2018, the Democratic Party launched a series of denunciations against the then Minister of Interior, Fatmir Xhafaj. At first, it seemed like a well-organized action. It was MP Enkelejd Alibeaj who made several consecutive denunciations with documents, documents and evidence showing that Agron Xhafaj, the brother of Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj, had been convicted in Italy of international drug trafficking.
But Basha extinguished the “fire” that he had lit himself, at the moment when “Babale”, or the so-called “Witness X” appeared on the scene. DP MP, Ervin Salianji published an audio-tapping, according to which it was claimed that Agron Xhafaj was still directing the narcotics trafficking.
The citizen Albert Veliu, or the so-called “Babale”, appeared in the audio-tapping, who was alleged to have had a conversation with Agron Xhafaj, doing drug bargain. But then Albert Veliu himself, who is actually in Kosovo where he sought political asylum, admitted that the audio-tapping was just a staging.
Lulzim Basha betrayed the boys of Kukës. He initially told them tha he wouldn’t allow the beam. Then pretended to support their protest in the spring of 2018, but soon left them alone in front of Rama’s government as well as the court doors. And then, by chance, his brother-in-law took over the new offices at one of the Nation Road concessionaires.
34-In February 2019, Lulzim Basha took an unprecedented action, by burning the seats of lawmakers, leaving parliament and leaving Democrats unrepresented. This was probably one of the biggest political madness of Lulzim Basha at the head of the Democratic Party, but it was followed by other actions, no less “crazy”.
The burning of the mandate was declared by Lulzim Basha, during a protest in February 2019, around noon. And in the afternoon when he was called, as he himself claims in hundreds of meetings, he rejected the request of Deputy Secretary of State Palmer, who told him that the burning of mandates was a wrong move.
But he took a stand, saying “He knew, and the decision was irreversible!”. Attacks the attacks on social networks came with command from Basha.
36-We go further to the local elections of June 30, 2019. DP didn’t enter the elections.
The ultimatum was clear. Attacks on Mr. Palmer don’t stop. Comments and political accusations from the Democratic Party and the people surrounding Lulzim Basha. Although pretending to be a big pro-American, Basha didn’t respond to international calls, boycotted the local elections and give Edi Rama all 61 municipalities.
He promised to support them. That their homes would not collapse. He also took there Klevis Balliu, as a “great leader”. But, the day the police went to the New Ring, they were left alone and the houses were demolished.
Lulzim Basha is probably the unique opposition leader who attacks the oligarchs during the day, and “sleeps” with them at night. Lulzim Basha appears at press conferences, speaks and accuses the so-called oligarchs. So, the richest businessmen in Albania, when the fact is that all the oligarchs pay bribes to Lulzim Basha’s brother-in-law.
In almost all his media appearances, Lulzim Basha has his “oligarchs” in his headlines. But apparently “the pear has its tail back”. Whoever insults you love you, say a popular proverb, and Lulzim Basha has shown the great “love” that he has for the oligarchs. He attacks some of them and then forgets their name, “blink” his eyes for some of them, and some others is afraid to even mention their name.
During his time in opposition, Lulzim Basha added his villas. First we mention the villa in Long Hill, a residence built by businessman Agron Papuli, called an oligarch and denounced dozens of times by Basha, but already he “forgot his name”. In October 2019, Basha moved from his apartment on the 12th floor near the 2 towers to the former stadium “Qemal Stafa”, in the complex of villas “Long Hill”, on the outskirts of Tirana. He justified the relocation by saying that his apartment had been damaged by the September earthquake.
In fact, no damage has been reported in the Municipality of Tirana in relation to the apartment in question. In August 2020, CNA.al reported that Lulzim Basha lived in the villas of another oligarch, whom Basha is afraid to even mention. It is about the luxury resort “Valamar” of Samir Mane in Lalzi Bay, a place where it is said that he was seen staying in a luxury villa.
On the other hand, in his declaration of wealth, Basha has also declared a villa in the Netherlands.
40-His suspicious past in Kosovo.
Before joining the DP in 2005, Lulzim Basha worked in Kosovo as Special Adviser in charge of preparing the UNMIK Department of Justice transition to the Kosovo Ministry of Justice. But in November 2020, a scandal broke out in the media, where Lulzim Basha was accused of gathering evidence and facts against KLA fighters while working in Kosovo.
Journalist and analyst from Kosovo Milaim Zeka, stated in a television studio in November 2019 that “Lulzim Basha, is the man who has gathered more evidence than anyone else against the Kosovo Liberation Army”.
Basha betrayed the artists in the battle for the building of the National Theater. He promised not to allow the demolition of the National Theater. But the diggers “passed over Luli’s body” and the Theater collapsed. The artists were left alone, while Luli Basha slept peacefully in his house.
Lulzim Basha spoke for a short period about the affair of the century, as it is called the incinerator concession in Albania. He made some public denunciations, but then fell silent. Rumors speak of bribes that may have arrived at the headquarters of SHQUP. But only Basha knows how the truth stands and why remain silent on this issue.
A year ago, US Ambassador Yuri Kim asked Basha to sign an agreement on changes to the electoral code. Basha made some maneuvers. He asked the DP representatives to lie her. Kim understood and reacted directly. For this, she was severely attacked by the media near the DP.
Another mistake that had electoral costs was voting within the DP to disqualify candidates. Promoting it as a formula of European conservative parties, Basha presented the membership with a list of names telling the Democrats:Vote for the person you hate the most! This sparked an internal conflict in the DP, which Basha used not to read the Democrats’vote, but as a bargain with a disqualified candidate.
On the eve of this year’s elections, Basha set up a working group in the DP, a Commission for the Evaluation of Candidates for MPs. But in the end the work of the commission was ignored and Basha re-drafted the lists himself.
For the first time in the history of democracy in Albania, Edi Rama won the third term in office, while the DP remained in opposition for the third term in a row. Basha tried to justify himself, saying that the DP was growing.
But, he makes comparisons with what he has destroyed himself. After losing the 2021 elections, Basha resumed clashes with the US ambassador to Tirana, Yuri Kim. The American Embassy recognizes the elections, while Lulzim Basha talks about the electoral massacre.
When he suffered another falure, and in the DP increasd the rumors for his removal, Basha conducted another farcical election process. He competed by remaining in the position of chairman, and having at his disposal the entire DP administration. The process was accompanied by many scandals, and in the end Basha managed to hold the post of DP chairman.
In the meeting convened by Basha on August 30, there was no competition, but were appointed only those elected by him. As CNA.al had warned, all the names were decided by Basha, and the meeting of the National Council was just a farce, to appoint supporters and expel from the DP any critical voice.
With a completely personal decision and without consulting the party structures, Lulzim Basha decided to expel Sali Berisha from the PD parliamentary group. And he tried to justify that the Americans had allegedly asked him to do so.
Basha talks about imaginary victories and battles, but it leads Democrats from defeat to defeat. He promised a battle against the regime after the April 25 elections, but in fact he seems to have a battle with Sali Berisha.
This is probably the biggest political “shadow” or “crime” that Lulzim Basha has done in his political career. In 30 years of democracy, Basha is the man who has further divided the party that brought political pluralism to Albania. He lost the local elections in 2015, and didn’t resign.
Suffered catastrophic losses in 2017, and expelled from the DP the party elite and people with contributions since its inception. Held farce elections within the DP. Everything just to continue to hold the post of chairman. Lulzim Basha is the person responsible for the weakening of the DP, for its return from a winning party, to a losing party./CNA.al
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