Gjerg and Tom debating fiercely at a political meeting in Thethi valley, northern Albania.
The socialist party won the elections a couple of weeks later and Gjerg Harusha (to the left) had to step down from his local power position.
Tomorrow June 23, Albania goes to election. The corruption is a big problem in the country and one of the main issues debated by the parties. Many says that it´s just words.. they are merely aiming for the power.
Last week me and my Albanian friend Erisa visited the isolated Thethi valley in the mountains of northern Albania
The owner of the guesthouse “Ded” insisted that I should attend the election campaign meeting that was taking place in our temporary home next day.
Ded was apparently very proud to be hosting the meeting with such distinguished guests. the preparations went on all night long with the unpacking of large amounts of beer and raki. Three sheeps were slaughtered to serve as main food ingredient for the guests.
Several hundreds of the locals were invited to listen to the socialist deputy from Shkoder, Tom Doshi. The deputy himself had paid all the expenses and he can afford it!
Someone whispered in my ear that he suddenly and surprisingly somehow had gained a substantial fortune. The money invested in casinos, construction company’s, TV channels etc has made him one of Albania’s richest men.
The politician and his company arrived in a Range Rover welcomed somewhat like a semi-god.
As being the only foreigner Ded introduced me to the deputy who mumbled something about respect and invited me and Erisa (she is also a good translator) to sit by his side at the VIP table in the main building.
This gave me a unique possibility to live some Albanian political game closeup and to experience the hot political discussion that took place when the local leader of the democratic party (the party of actual president Sali Berisha)) Gjergj Harusha turned to Tom Doshi and started to argue.
Deputy Tom Doshi is the man in white shirt and Gjergj Harusha wears a brownish coat.
A search on google “Tom Doshi” resulted in many hits, this is one: http://www.mjaft.org/news_en.php?faqe=news&newsid=1360