Tirana, Albania | Tirana Echo – Albania’s prime Minister Edi Rama has fired four of his ministers today after a meeting with Socialist Party regional coordinators, taking Albania’s political crisis to another level.
During his gathering with socialist regional coordinators who will be in charge of electoral teams in the country, Rama has dismissed Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri, Social Welfare Minister Blendi Klosi, Health Minister Ilir Beqaj and the State Minister for Local Affairs Bledi Cuci.
Rama has justified their dismissal as a necessity for the four of them to focus on electoral issues ahead of Albania’s general elections in June. However, the opposition and several high level analysts in the country have labelled the dismissal as an alibi to cover up the resignation of Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri who has been under fierce accusations of cooperation with criminal networks and facilitating drug trafficking operations from Albania to neighboring countries.
Blendi Klosi will take over the Berat district, Bledi Cuci has been appointed in Gjirokastra, Ilir Beqaj in Kukes and Dibra, while Saimir Tahiri will cover Tirana as its district party head.
Reportedly Rama is expected to let other ministers go as in total 12 party regional coordinators will take up electoral leadership in the country’s 12 districts where the socialists hope for a second mandate after June.
However, the opposition democrats who are protesting in front of the PM office for more than 20 days have said they will not leave the boulevard until Edi Rama resigns as PM and a technical government is formed to guarantee free and fair elections in June.
Meanwhile, representatives of Rama’s smaller ally Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) have today hinted that their chairman Ilir Meta, currently the Speaker of Parliament should take over the PM job.
“It is not a secret that we want Ilir Meta to become Prime Minister. He has offered dialogue and constructivity to Albanian politics. We have to stop the arrogance and return to the politics which serves the Albanian people” said Minister of European Integration Klajda Gjosha.
Later on Minister for Agriculture and an LSI senior figure Edmond Panariti said that “the legitimate request of any political force is that its leader takes the top PM job“, further adding doubts about the decision of LSI and its leader Ilir Meta on the next pre-electoral alliance to be forged.
None of the dismissed ministers have talked for the media while Rama later on this evening that the dismissals have nothing to do with any requests coming from his coalition partner Ilir Meta.
“Changes in the government are not dictated by the work of the 4 ministers. Changes are not related to any request from the co-chair of the coalition Ilir Meta. I appeal to al our supporters to rise up and to knock on every door. The show must go on, the caravan must go forward” – said Rama in his weekly Facebook live session.
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