The irony of collaborating while squeezing independent institutions dry

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 11, 2021 14:05

The irony of collaborating while squeezing independent institutions dry

Despite the fact that the current parliament mandate is set to expire in the first days of July, the majority is set to fulfill the rising vacancies in various independent institutions with loyalists. What is worse it is doing so with the collaboration and participation of the so called opposition- what was left after the de facto real opposition boycotted the parliament and what has marked in the history of Albanian parliamentarism the most ridiculous track record of illegitimacy and lack of profesioanlsim.

It is ironic to observe how the majority is behaving especially in light of the fact that it declared “an open hand” for collaboration to the opposition after the elections of Aril 25. The collaboration offer seems to stop short of securing consensus on some key institutions that represent more than the fields of interest that thy cover, they are integral pieces of the system of checks and balances which in fairness lies in tatters in the country.

These include the Board of the Public broadcaster (RTSH) which will select the new executive director and the Board of the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA) – the institution that was set to police the media with a heavy hand had the controversial new media law proposed by the Socialist Party not been struck down by the Venice Commission.

This new media law (which still lives in a curios silent limbo) or better its annulment s became then one of the conditions set by the EU Council prior to the organizing of the first inter-governmental conference of the accession negotiations.

The selection of new board members of RTSh is done also to change the Director whose mandate is over. Outgoing Thoma Gellci made a lot of improvements to the almost defunct RTSh modernizing a very backward institution, propelling it to the digital area, setting up an app for free use and overhauling a lot of the functionality. RTSH now seems to live again in the eyes of the audience. A series of important international agreements also stand on the plus list.

Now the need has emerged apparently to secure a director that will focus on party loyalty rather than innovation. This will be ensured only by new board members on the list to be approved next and which seem as if picked out of a Stalinist playbook.

Collaborating with the fake opposition that calcified the authoritarianism of a single party rule for the last two years and whose days in the Parliament rows are now numbered to select those who will largely influence public communication is a clear sign that the majority is preparing to expand rather than moderate its reach into independent institutions. 

This ‘collaboration;’ in the times of squeezing every drop of life out of the few decision-making venues where bipartisan or even better nonpartisan accord is needed is an exercise in mocking the public.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 11, 2021 14:05