Kadare: "Basha, withdraw!"
The Albanian writer, Ismail Kadare, addressed an open letter to Lulzim Basha, the Democratic Party candidate for Mayor of Tirana. The writer proposes Basha to withdraw his candidacy. Kadare expresses his serious concern in this letter, like many other Albanians.
“I am sending you this open letter, with the hope that it might help in solving the unexpected collapse that is facing not only our state, but the entire Albanian nation.
There’s no need to mention the grave consequences of this collapse, which start with the shock that democracy and everyday life will be submitted to, and the danger of a new isolation for our country. This would be fatal for the two Albanian countries in Balkan”, Ismail Kadare says in his letter.
The writer addresses Basha with the hope that he will understand his message; although by the Albanian politics point of view it might seem politically, strategically and tactically wrong. But on the other hand, this would be the right decision for the high interests of our country, our republic and our nation.
“As politician and state executive, you have recently found yourself at the center of a cyclone that not only would close the way to the Albanian progress, but would throw it many years back in history. It is worthless mentioning how incorrigible and irreparable this would be. Based on this and since both of you candidates face the same conditions of an unclear victory or loss, I propose a gesture that nowadays is very rare, almost excluded from the Albanian political life: withdraw your candidacy for Mayor of Tirana. It is not difficult for me to imagine your militants’ reaction to this. Together with them, I can imagine the doubts and ritual shouts. But I must say that it has been a long time since I have stopped being impressed by this. Meanwhile, since the people who give these shouts are part of the Albanian people, I would like to explain the essence of my message: with this advice, I will honor you the same, regardless the way you will understand it,” Kadare underlines.
“This is not a challenge against Mr. Basha’s political opponent. I could do the same proposition to both of you, but I thought that withdrawal would be easier for you that are currently in power than for the other candidate who is the opposition leader. I have started being impartial since a long time ago, and this stance is not for a merit or fault of mine, but due to my profession. For a writer his compatriots come first, his readers. That’s why he cannot be only with one half against the other.
"This vision might seem like a writer’s egocentrism to the eyes of someone, but if this proposition will be judged as a fault of mine, I will accept the guilt or the genetic malformation. By proposing you to withdraw, I want to remind you that such gestures are known in the history of the emancipated part of human kind. These gestures have been known and valued as great gestures when people have withdrawn from an insistence, post, duel or throne that would have caused disasters. I want to remind you that the founder of the Albanian state, Ismail Qemali, in 1912 was at the same time the founder of the Albanian resignation of honor. With his great gesture, after being asked by the European powers, he resigned from his post for Albania’s sake”, Kadare adds.
“Albania must not forget these great signs of its civilization. Albania must cultivate them; must show that it is not a tribal country, but a European and democratic state, part of the most emancipated family of all nations. Albania must show that it is able, that it can, that it must be a dignified member of the great family”, the great Albanian writer emphasizes.
“Your gesture will be a message of emancipation and hope for the new Albanian generation, including the new politicians. Every gesture of this kind, before honoring one politician, one side or one season of the political life, honors us all”, Kadare continues.
“We have been used with the expression ‘common shame’, which we have experienced for good or for bad in many years. But rarely have we experienced the other expression: ‘common honor’.
Let us hope that its time will also come”, Ismail Kadare concludes.