The message of President Topi about the recent political situation in Albania

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Tirana, January 30, 2011 NOA –

Dear citizens of Albania, Dear Albanians, wherever you are,

I would like to share with you the thoughts and feelings, but especially the great concern and sadness on the present and future of our beloved country.

I am very convinced that we all would like Albania to be better, more beautiful, more calm and prosperous: a country where the present is adored and the future is believed, as a family where respect and honor incarnate its foundations, a land where history has generated bravery and pride of the nation, a society where the codes of value, morale and honesty become a myth, a democracy where everyone is free and the freedom is sacred, a state where the citizens and statesmen are equal before the law and justice.

However, I am even more convinced that this Albania will become the way we want it to be, only if we stay united serving this purpose, only if we listen wisely to one other, only if we accept and respect our differences and above all, it will come true only if politics are put to the service of citizens. If the contrary takes place, then we all will fall, we will remain behind, thus the European, democratic and free Albania will continue to remain an unfulfilled dream for its citizens, but also a relentless battle-horse for the politicians.

Dear citizens,

21st of January should not have happened in the Albania of the 21st Century. On the 21st of January there should not have been Albanian blood shed. On the 21st of January there should not have been victims or wounded or violated. On the 21st of January there should not have been tears of mothers, women, children and hopeless faces for the future. On the 21st of January there should not have been attacks on institutions nor violations of their guards. On the 21st of January there should not have been law violation. On the 21st of January there was serious violation of the law.

In a democratic country, the violation of the law is punished, and the violators, whoever they might be, are punished. 21st of January darkened the Albanian society and democracy, so the demand for transparency and the need for its legal transparency are a priority of the state, justice, intelligence services and the institutions of law and order. However, quick transparency requires a reciprocal cooperation and respect of all these chains, clearly sanctioned in the Constitution of Albania. A country is considered democratic not because it has or has chosen or established a Prosecution Office, Courts, Intelligent Services, and State Police, but because in their practice, sanctioned by law, they are as much independent as they are co-dependent in their work to secure order and quietness of citizens. They are as much free and obliged to serve each other. They are also as responsible and equal the same before the law and the Rule of Law. A Rule of Law remains such when transparency and cooperation of these chains face no obstacles, whatever the motives might be, and justice is served.

On behalf of the citizens of Albania, I demand the engagement and commitment of the Prosecution Office, State Information Service, State Police and Guard of the Republic in order to clarify immediately this event. On behalf of the Constitution and the law, I demand the immediate cooperation, unconditional and professional, of these structures to make transparency and facilitate the independent judgment of causes and consequences of this difficult day for Albania and Albanians. Let us not forget that injustice somewhere is a threat for justice anywhere.

In a democratic country, the state is made up of a group of legitimate institutions that keep the order and serve the stability of the future of the society, clearly sanctioned in its pluralist Constitution. Under this context, our Constitution clearly divides the powers, election and their competences, by respecting the independence in their area of functioning. Today, more than ever, in the process of clarification and analysis of the 21st of January, the powers in Albania, by respecting independence, their legal obligations and competences, are welcomed to give their evaluations and contribution. The weight and pressure of the powers towards each other delays and compromises the independence of the analysis, thought and independent judgment of the event and its actors. This is the only way to facilitate the independent clarification, with all-inclusive and professional work, and also to determine the political and legal responsibilities that caused victims, wounded, the threat towards the constitutional order, destruction of public and private property and infringement of human rights on the 21st of January.

But this event needs especially a political analysis and transparency. It will help us clear our minds, clarify our interests, and coordinate the actions so that Albania will come out of this vicious political circle in which it has found itself.

No one can deny today that Albania is going through one of the most difficult political crisis of our democratic transition. Since the beginning of this legislature, the Parliament of Albania has functioned in most cases half-full or half-empty, by threatening the pluralist functioning of a tribune, where the eyes, minds and interests of citizens expect to find solution for their problems and issues.

It has been also just as long that the pluralist parliamentary debate has been moved to the street, in tribunes, party speakers, television studios, independent or dependent newspapers, by forgetting the political obligation and civic responsibility that the party members become members of parliament through elections, to serve the people better in the process of lawmaking and not to offer them battle fields and unworthy political scenes not valued at all for a civilized country and society. This emphasized lack of political and legislative responsibility has delayed the important reforms that we must undertake, has caused hindrances in the completion and functioning of independent constitutional institutions and has influenced negatively in the process of integration of the country into the European Union.

Unfortunately, there is as much time that the political opposition and the majority party in Albania, stay that much apart in their political positions that cooperation, interaction, and dialogue in the interests of the country seems very far away, even today after the 21st of January. I am very concerned about the current lack of communication and dialogue between the two main political forces. I am of the opinion and hope that the tragic event and its negative consequences on the fate of the country and democracy will make aware, make responsible the heated minds of politics on the necessity of calming the situation, finding of compromise and solution of political conflict that is holding back the integration and development of the country.

I call today once again to quickly find a political compromise as the only necessary way to bring the country facing the lack of a perspective out of this difficult situation. The re is no more time to waste. It demands that the interests of the citizens, who rightly so, are looking for a better life, to be placed above the interests of powers and political career of any individual. History will show this to be true. The language of hate and its intensification, be that towards the political opponents or towards independent constitutional institutions, does not show neither responsibility for the situation in which Albania is now, nor political will to make the first reasonable step that is required today by the national interests, or desire to investigate and clarify independently the tragic event of the 21st of January. “Do not hate, - exclaimed Dr. Martin Luther King, – because it is a burden too heavy to carry”.

At last, 21st of January requires also an explanation for our partners and friends of the structures where we are members or desire to integrate into.

This event surprised by its tragic consequences which were reflected by all of the international community, which expressed once again the readiness to assist. By good will, but also with the maximum responsibility towards the danger of degradation of situation, the United States of America, the European Union, the OSCE, offered advice and underlined the fact that Albania is a sovereign country and a member of NATO. They emphasized the extraordinary importance of the functioning of the rule of law, the independence of institutions, and their several years of investment and engagement in the establishment of these independent constitutional institutions, but especially the necessity of re-establishing the political dialogue.

Inability to generate a functioning political system in Albania is disappointing for NATO and the European Union. Political trips Brussels – Tirana, Strasbourg – Tirana and the return trips, trendy dinners and tables that have ended in failure, with the only aim to solve the long and tiring crisis of Albanian politics, raise a big question of our partners and friends on the maturity and ability of Albanian society to go further in its integration road. This is a historic responsibility of the Albanian politics. What is lacking in our politics is not the passion, but reflection. In these moments an answer must be given, a clarification is required, but even more so, there is a need for real actions, daring and expeditious, by listening and acting together to leave behind this difficult moment for Albania and Albanians.

This is not a dream. This is a reality completely possible to realize and enough credible in respect of the goals and interests of our people and nation, the dreams of our children as well as confidence and support of our friends and international partners.