The Truth About the Founding of the Republican Party

By Gafur Muco and Shpetim Spahiu


July 22, 1991

We have been silent for a long time, but now we think it is over. We took this decision when we learned that in the first Republican Party Conference, Sabri Godo declared Vangjush Gambeta as the first Republican in Albania, and himself as the second. This hurt us because the first Republicans of December are out of the Republican Party, while their names are used by “the leadership,” which lies and deceives hundreds and thousands of people all around the country to develop its activity.

We will try to speak based only on facts…

On December 18, 1990, we submitted a request, the program, and a regulation to the Ministry of Justice. On December 29, 1990, we had a meeting with the Minister Enver Halili and the lawyer Jani Vasili, where the program of the Republic Party was considered. In the document ref. no. 75, dated 4/1/1991, issued by the Codification and Legislation Department, headed by Mr. G. Muco, we were asked to go to the Ministry of Justice. Present in the meeting were the same persons who received us on December 29, 1990, who said that a list of 100 persons should be presented.

On January 7, we met Vangjush Gambeta by chance. We spoke about the recent events and the new democracy in Albania. We asked him to join us and we suggested him to run the newspaper in the future and to help us gather names. He accepted to make a list of names, but on the same day in the evening he gave it to us blank, and he did not even accept to sign himself. In collaboration with the other members of the organizing commission, we completed the list of the first 100 R epublicans, who had supported us since December. We gave it to Mr. Jani Vasili. The list was considered valid, and we had to go to the Ministry on January 9, 1991 in the morning. On January 8, 1991, I (G. Muco) went to Vangjush, but he was not there.

On January 9, we were told at the Ministry of Justice that the legalization of the party was planned for January 13. I insisted it take place on January 10, on the eve of “January 11.” Finally, it was decided that three people would go there on January 10. We decided it would be G.M uco and R. Permeti. There was not a third person. Quite by chance, Vangjush Gambeta joined this group. This is verified by a signature at the margins of the document of the RP fundamental act.

To our surprise, the representative of the justice department J.V. came to my house in the evening of the same day and invited me to go for a walk. We walked to the center of the city. When we were parting, he said to me: “Well, I almost forgot … give this telephone number to Vangjush. Take care, it is the telephone number of Sofokli Lazri!” I kept the promise. I did it.

I should also say something else. At the Ministry of Justice at J.V.’s office, we met the journalist V. Zoto, who would write a short article about the RP to be published in Bashkimi on January 12, 1991, but surprisingly it was not published. After several days, the same newspaper published an announcement about RP and its organizing commission consisting of P. Marko, S. Godo, V. Gambeta, H. Cobani, A. Zeka, ect., who had nothing to do with us.

The discussion with Sofokli Lazri, the involvement of S. Godo, and the non-publication of the first article at Bashkimi made things change profoundly. The leadership slipped from our hands. We have a guilty conscience, as we invited V.G. to RP. “The second Republican,” S. Godo, has never been a Republican, not even formally. S. Godo was placed at the top of the RP pyramid, due to the elbows given and the external interventions.

The difference between us and the usurpers of the RP leadership became increasingly evident. Vangjush took information from us and Sabri neutralized our activities. The first moved, the second stayed by us.

Other facts. On January 15 I represented the RP in a meeting with the governmental commission regarding the requests of the Valias miners. We were also on TV. But the following day in the meeting with Ramiz Alia, Sabri Godo – a person who had nothing to do with us and what is more, who used G. Muco’s invitation, which was given to him by V.Gambeta without our authorization – took part. Now the question is: Why was the protocol not respected? Who authorized him to send to the president somebody else, whose name was different from the one written on the invitation? It is not difficult to understand. The meeting with Sofokli had opened the way for those two people.

This step alarmed us. Something was done in a secret way and deliberately, so that this political force be led by someone else, reliable for the Party of Labor. None more reliable than Sabri Godo could have been found. We were convinced about that, as all our requests for financing and materials were immediately passed to the hands of the last ones.

To bring an end to this, we asked V. Gambeta to give some explanations for everything that was happening and especially the discussion with Sofokli Lazri. He tried to refuse any fact and vowed that he spoke only about family problems, as he knew his wife. His attitude made us further convinced that we were dealing with a well prepared plan and trick. Then we decided to have a meeting with the organizing commission, to consider the activity of V. Gambeta, who though informed did not show up. The organizing commission after having discussed V. Gambeta’s stance, and evaluating his activity as malicious, decided unanimously to expel him from the RP. The activity of Sabri Godo was considered illegal and had nothing to do with the RP. We asked to do this public, but we were stopped. The boss of the press and information, Sofokli Lazri, who was the friend of “the Republicans,” decided on that.

We informed V. Gambeta officially about our decision to expel him, but V. Gambeta and S. Godo continue their activity. Due to the pressure exerted on us, phone threats etc., we were forced to withdraw. In that period of troubles and being also depressed I had two meetings with S. Godo, where I asked him to give up that dishonest initiative.

After that attempt failed and our situation became increasingly critical, on February 18, 1991 we decided to address an official letter to the Ministry of Justice, where we explained our situation and we returned the decision on the founding of the RP. The Ministry of Justice did not answer, but on February 28, 1991, it sent to “the true” RP, headed by S. Godo and V. Gambeta, a copy of the decision given to us on January 10, 1991, signed by Dashamir Kore, as Enver Halili was no any longer at the position of minister.

Please read the newspapers of January 11, 1991, which announced that Enver Halili ordered the registration of the Republican Party. On February 28 another order signed by Dashamir Kore was sent; it was not published…, could such a scenario be informed?

We pose the question: who gave the right to this ministry, which based on a social group gave the right of political activity to another social group, which had nothing to do with us and which had submitted nothing to the Ministry of Justice? Instead of suspending their activity immediately and giving the right to the people to whom it belonged, it was strangely given to usurpers.

Isn’t that political business, a fifth column of the Party of Labor of Albania within the opposition? Isn’t that an imitation of Enverism in founding the Communist Party of Albania?!

The RP has hundreds and thousands of honest members.

We believe that these honest republicans should distance themselves from them.

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About Fred Abrahams

Author of Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy (NYU Press, 2015)

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