Albanian President Lashes out at Freedom House Over Critical Report

Ilir Meta, Albania's President
Ilir Meta, Albania's President

Tirana, Apr 12 (Tirana Echo) – Albania’s President Ilir Meta has lashed out at the latest report by US based group Freedom House which qualified his election as a blow to the fight against corruption.

Achievements in the war against administrative corruption was offset by the election of Ilir Meta as president of Albania, perceived by many citizens to be a symbol of corruption,” – says the latest report by Freedom House prompting an immediate response by the President’s Office, which said the organization was being misused at the service of political agendas in Albania.

The report is forcefully bias and not only deforms the truth but also in a speculative and deliberate manner seeks to create artificial points of focus,” said the President’s spokesperson Tedi Blushi.

The office reminds Freedom House that Ilir Meta was elected President with 3/5 of the parliament through a fully democratic and constitutional process at a critical moment for the country’s stability.

If Freedom House is truly interested to shed light upon corruption in Albania, it has to investigate who has influenced and ordered such factual deformations in this report and we are convinced there they will find the concrete symbols of national and international corruption.” – said the Albanian President’s Office.

However, speaking to the Voice of America in response to the President’s statement, Freedom House Communications Director Robert Ruby said:

We encourage all sides to read the entire report, which includes specific concerns over corruption and the capture of the state in Albania across many actors in the political sphere, over the slow progess in creating the necessary institutions to fight corruption and over an insufficient framework to guarantee the independence of such institutions. Freedom House is a non-party institution and its conclusions reflect its own analysis.”

In its latest Report, Freedom House criticized Albanian prime minister Edi Rama’s increasing authoritative tendencies while the war against corruption received a blow with the election of Ilir Meta as President of the Republic on April 28, whose presidency was assured by the votes of Rama’s ruling Socialist Party.

In 2011 Rama himself described Ilir Meta as the symbol of everything that was rotten in Albanian politics, an assessment that is shared by a great part of the Albanian electorate, says Freedom House.

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