The Albanian president offered public support to the former prime minister, who was sanctioned by the United States this week for corruption
TIRANA, Albania – The Albanian president offered public support Saturday to the former prime minister, who was sanctioned by the United States this week for corruption.
President Ilir Meta issued a letter to former Prime Minister Sali Berisha in which he described the sanctioning of politicians as an “shameful, unfaithful and nasty act” prompted by anti-Albanian lobbying.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that Berisha and his immediate family have been barred from entering the United States. Blinken accused Berisha, who was Albania’s prime minister from 2005 to 2013, of being “involved in corrupt practices … including using his power to his advantage and to enrich his political allies and members of his family”.
Blinken also claimed that Berisha, while in office, interfered in the judiciary “to the detriment of independent investigations, anti-corruption efforts and accountability measures”.
Berisha, 76, is currently an MP representing the opposition Democratic Party in the Albanian parliament. He was also Albania’s second post-communist president from 1992 to 1997.
In his defense of his predecessor, Meta argued that Blinken’s decision was “ordered by the kleptocratic regime” in Albania at a time when the results of the April 25th parliamentary parliament of choice are disputed.
Meta clashed with the ruling Socialist Party, which launched proceedings against him for not remaining non-partisan during the election.