Albanian PM’s former friend and rebel MP Ben Blushi quits the Socialist Party

Ben Blushi Mimoza Hafizi Arta Dade ALbanian Socialist Party Tirana
The departure of rebel MP and former close friend of Rama signals the creation of a new party ahead of upcoming elections in Albania with fellow socialist MP Mimoza Hafizi and others joining in.
Former journalist, renowned Albanian writer and socialist MP Ben Blushi who joined the party in 1997 and later served as Education Minister and Minister for Local Government and Decentralization has finally decided to quit the ruling Socialists in what is expected to be the first step towards the creation of a new party in Albania, ahead of upcoming general elections next year.
In his last rebellious performance in Parliament, Blushi attacked Rama on the latest controversial waste import law, calling the Albanian Parliament a ‘trash bin where the decay of democracy hides’, referring to the bill as the law passed with the least possible needed votes since 2001.
In a letter to daily Panorama, Ben Blushi accused the 3 main parties of Albania namely the Socialists, Democrats and the LSI as the electoral rubbish bin of Albania which will never be cleaned up. Blushi ends his open letter by saying: ‘This is why I have decided to permanently get out, in order to understand what most people already know, that in Albania, you have to clean up the political parties before you can clean up the bins’.
 Blushi, former close friend and ally of Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama had been increasingly critical of Rama’s policies and his own Socialist Party, often openly accusing Rama as an autocratic leader and incompetent Prime Minister. During a speech in Parliament last May Blushi said that ‘Albania has fallen in the hands of an incompetent man’ while repeatedly saying that so called ‘Renaissance’, Rama’s slogan of coming to power in 2013, has miserably failed all Albanian people who are fleeing the country.
In another intervention Blushi cynically claimed that this Government is the only on in Europe that  has created more jobs outside Albania than within the country itself, referring to the alarming asylum applications from Albanian citizens during the last year, predominantly in Germany.
Blushi’s letter confirms what was rumored and expected across the Tirana political spectrum for months now, making allegations of a new political party ahead of elections, more credible than ever. Blushi is expected to be joined by fellow socialist MP Mimoza Hafizi and other dissatisfied elements who are unhappy with the ruling SP-LSI centre-left coalition.
Albania prepares for both general and presidential elections next June, in what is expected to be a fiercely fought campaign amid popular apathy and internal discontent within the coalition’s partners.
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