Sunday, June 1, 2008

Albania’s new national sport – the electoral campaign

By Gjergj Erebara in Tirana

Officially, next general elections in Albania should be held late in the next year, but seems that electoral campaign had already begun. Top Channel reported today that ruling Democratic Party has ordered its Members of Parliament (MP) to interrupt their vacancies and to go in their electoral zones to prepare the ground. Prime Minister Berisha is already fully engaged to meet peoples in very remote areas and inaugurating civil works projects.

It seems that Albanians receives some benefits from electoral seasons. Most of them consider electoral campaigns as important momentum to receive some benefits from central government.

Economically speaking, electoral year’s turns to be successful for many companies, including construction and marketing services companies. Since 2000, two general elections and three local elections have been held in Albania. The 2001 general elections were most awesome. Government had spent what was possible to spend constructing roads and other public facilities. In several cases, candidates used their own moneys to finance the works. Electoral campaign produces also new jobs and fuel media with advertisements.

In 2001, Tirana, Vlora and Durres, enjoyed the first wave of investments since the collapse of communism.

Albania works only for few well connected Albanians”, said Hernando De Soto, an economist from Peru in its report about Albania. It seems that in electoral seasons, politicians are more willing to exchange interests with more Albanians.

As for the next elections it is sure that the flow of money will be much larger then in 205, because now both parties are very rich. In 2005, only left-wingers were capable to invest in roads for remote villages.

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