Tirana, Aug 28 (Tirana Echo) – Albania will have a new smaller restructured government in September as Prime Minister Edi Rama confirms the names of the new gender balanced cabinet.
PM Rama told his Socialist Party chairmanship that his new cabinet would have 6 less ministers moving the total number of governing cabinet members to 14. Rama said his aim would be to increase economic growth to 5% during the upcoming 4 years.
The new government will see the merging of the finance and economy departments with Arben Ahmetaj as Minister while energy and transport will fall under the same umbrella with Damian Gjiknuri as Minister. Meanwhile the new government will have a young woman as Vice PM while a new State Minister position has been created to coordinate affairs with the Albanian diaspora across the world. Several critics have raised doubts over the lack of a Ministry of European Integration, given Albania’s priorities in the EU led process.doubts over the lack of a Ministry of European Integration, given Albania’s priorities in the EU led process. doubts over the lack of a Ministry of European Integration, given Albania’s priorities in the EU led process.
Full list of new ministers in the Albanian government:
Edi Rama – Prime Minister
Senida Mesi – Vice PM
Pandeli Majko – State Minister for the Diaspora
Sonila Qato – State Minister for Business
Ditmir Bushati – Foreign Minister
Fatmir Xhafaj – Minister of Interior
Olta Xhacka – Minister of Defence
Etilda Gjonaj – Minister of Justice
Mirela Kumbaro – Minister of Culture
Arben Ahmetaj – Minister of Finance, Economy and Labor
Lindita Nikolla – Minister of Education, Sports and Youth
Ogerta Manastirliu – Minister of Health and Social Care
Damian Gjiknuri – Minister of Energy and Transport
Niko Peleshi – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
Blendi Klosi – Minister of Tourism and Environment
Most ministerial names have served during the past 4 years. The restructuring of the government follows the victory of the Socialist Party during the June 23 general elections in Albania, allowing the governing party to get 74 out of the 140 seats in parliament, and granting them a freeway in forming the government alone without needing other junior partners.
Opposition Democratic Party got 43 seats while the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) previously part of Rama’s governing coalition in the previous mandate received 19 seats. Both parties will be in opposition.
Albania is a NATO member since 2009 and hopes to start EU membership talks this year.
Copyright 2017 Tirana Echo