Tirana (MTI) – Without free and democratic elections, Albania could slide into chaos amid general instability in the western Balkans, a Hungarian foreign affairs official said on Thursday.

The black economy based around drugs production has ballooned over the past few years and income from drugs could pose a major obstacle to holding free elections in Albania, Zsolt Nemeth, the head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told MTI after attending a demonstration by the opposition Democratic Party of Albania (PDS) in Tirana.

For the past 76 days, the party has held protests demanding free and fair elections.

Németh said conditions for holding free and democratic elections are now not in place, yet it would be timely to hold the elections in the next few months.

After Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met Lulzim Basha at a recent congress of the European People’s Party, it was decided that Németh should visit Tirana.

“The Albanian government is embedded in left-liberal networks and supported by [US financier] George Soros”, and is unwilling to agree to PDS demands.

In the absence of their fulfillment, Albania is likely to be further destabilised in a similar way to Macedonia, he said.

The European Union’s interest in the region seems to have faded recently but “George Soros’s interest is extremely intensive”, Németh said. Russia and Turkey are also showing interest in the region, so it is crucial to hold elections as soon as possible with the help of the international community, he added.

Németh also met former president and prime minister Sali Berisha during his visit.

Source: MTI

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