The opposition is going to mobilize its supporters in public protests against what it claims to be a government that is lacking legitimacy to rule the country, especially after what it claims to be the disregard for the constitutional criteria and procedure in appointing the Temporary General Public Prosecutor, based on an apparently legalistic argument over the relevant provisions of the constitution’s text, as the candidacy that was picked-up and put forth for voting in the Parliament as the new (transitory) Public General Prosecutor had not been scrutinized beforehand by the vetting process. The candidacy of the lady that now holds the office of the transitory General Public Prosecutor did not attracted any significant criticism; instead what was bitterly contested by the opposition was the procedure that the Parliament applied for her appointment. Even by juridical terms, the procedure became subject of disagreement and active dispute in the public media, whereby powerful political actors created the characteristically Albanian false impression that “was not clear what the constitution is”. Be it as it may, it is clear that “political constitutional declarations replaced the constitutional interpretation, leaving no room to be played by the Constitutional Court to deploy its adjudicative functions to clarify the constitution’s meaning, in such a politically fraught setting.
Both wings of the politics feel resolute and righteous in accusing each-other that the outgoing General Public Prosecutor was a subservient instrument of the opposition, especially with his nonprofessional diligence by the end of his term to prosecute the former Minister of Internal Affairs, or that the new Public General Prosecutor is a pawn of the political majority. This brings us to a puzzling and dramatic case-scenario situation, as pressure and expectations are on the rise, both from the Albanian people and international partners, on achieving concrete results with the justice system reforms. On the other hand, the incumbent government has exposed itself to addressing the fundamental task of opening the negotiations with the EU. Taken at ‘face value” the opposition is pretending a ‘constitutional rupture”, i.e. a situation in which the fundamental constitutional order itself, in political and juridical terms, is deeply contested, as the constitutional court, under normal conditions a unifying normative authority abiding and commanding respect from both political camps, seems to be irrelevant and unable to stand above the vicissitudes of partisan politics.
It seems that the plates are moving on, but what will draw our attention is whether this “constitutional rupture” will offer to the country an out breaking opportunity that leads towards a “transition” process from post-communist authoritarian cleptocracy, where the constitutional rules of the political game are ambiguous, to a “rule of law” system of governance, enhancing and guaranteeing the common civic welfare. Or will once again EU trade “stability” for “democracy” in the Western Balkans?