Former Albanian leader faces charges regarding the sterilization of medical items.
Honesty and transparency are ideally things that can be counted on from government officials, but all too often that is not how it plays out. Instead, the public is often left wondering if they can trust the words or actions of their leaders, and that doubt leads to many different types of problems throughout a nation. In this case, it is alleged corruption by a former Albanian prime minister that is leading people to wonder what has been going on behind the scenes. Unfortunately, allegations of corruption are nothing new in Albania, and the distrust of the public for government officials has made it difficult for the economy – and democracy as a whole – to develop as it might have been able to otherwise.
These charges have been alleged against Ilir Beqaj, who is a former Albanian health minister. He has been under investigation for corruption and abuse of power in a government project tender. Specifically, it relates to the sterilization of medical items. Beqaj has denied these charges against him but will comply with the order that has been handed down by the prosecutor. That order includes the requirement to report to the police on a weekly basis, and he is not allowed to leave the country while the proceeding is underway.
This case is just one of many that the Albanian government is aiming to tackle. A recent focus on corruption issues began in 2019 when the Special Prosecution Agency was founded. The mission of this agency is to target crime cases that involve high-ranking officials with a particular focus on corruption. There have been multiple arrests and legal actions against government officials already, with surely more to come.
In countries where corruption is widespread among government officials, it is extremely difficult to root out. Even if many of the government’s officials are honorable and perform their duties honestly, just a few bad actors can cause serious problems. That’s particularly true of those people wind up holding important positions in the government and have enough power to do serious harm when they act in an illegitimate manner.
Going a step further, corruption is often an issue in countries where democracy is relatively young and has not yet established a firm footing. As a result, cases like this make it even harder for democracy to pick up steam and become trusted by the public as a whole, as they are continually seeing stories about people in power who can’t be trusted to do what is in the best interest of the country as a whole.
All allegations, in any nation, should be taken seriously and explored for what might be happening behind the scenes. It is yet to be seen how this case will play out, but it is not likely to be the final issue regarding government corruption in a country that has seen more than its fair share over recent years.