The bishops of Albania have called on the country’s politicians to seek a “serious and peaceful solution” to the political turmoil in the country after Sunday’s local elections were boycotted by opposition movements protesting against Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama, accused of corruption and of electoral fraud in the 2017 elections.

For the record

“In the name of God, we, the Catholic Bishops in Albania, with great trust, ask you to please show a greater and more sincere love for Albania and the Albanians, by concretely showing that you are seeking a serious and peaceful solution to this situation, so as to avoid the risk of evil leading us to a greater evil. True peace does not mean closing our eyes to the irregularities that exist. There is no true peace other than the peace built on justice and truth. We urge you to open a new chapter in your politics”, pleaded Albanian Bishops’ Conference President, George Frendo, in a collegial message.

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“We are aware of the very critical situation in our beloved country, Albania”, continued Frendo, expressing “great concern about this situation, given the big risk, that may get worse, entailing huge consequences for our country”.

Frendo warned the country’s politicians that “your attitude may have serious implications and, as history teaches us, our society in the future will hold you responsible for the damage that you cause to the nation”.

“Forget the strong words that you have addressed to your opponents, and forget the words that your opponents have addressed to you. Also forget the promises you made to persuade your followers… No Albanian who loves his/her country and the common good more than the good of the party will ever rebuke or accuse you for failing to keep them if you commit yourselves to seeking a different path from the path you have walked so far”.

Bishop Frendo called on Albania’s elected representatives to show “good will and avoid dangers that would lead us towards a deadly abyss”.

“There is a tradition of peaceful coexistence and interreligious harmony among the various religions of our beloved country”, said the prelate, insisting that “if religions have not divided us, then we should not allow politics to become a source of division and discord in our country”.