IBNA FORUM/Politicians and analysts comment the changes in Rama’s cabinet

IBNA FORUM/Politicians and analysts comment the changes in Rama’s cabinet

By Edison Kurani

In the recent days, politics and public opinion have focused on the changes taken place in Prime Minister Edi Rama’s cabinet. Politicians and analysts offer their insights on these movements and the causes in this IBNA forum

“A meeting to honor those who left”

Prominent columnist and opinion maker, Ylli Dylgjeri believes that the four ministers who have left must be respected for the contributions given during these years.

But after praising the ministers the same way Rama praised them, Dylgjeri added in irony the reasons why they must be honored: “This is an excellent occasion to honor the four ministers in a commemorating event, which may be organized in a state institution hall. The public must welcome this human contact. These are new forms which must be encouraged. The former ministers deserve more”.

Nobody can understand Rama’s actions

Opinion maker Andi Bejtja says that what’s happening with the movements in the government is a “triptych dilemma” because according to him, this is a chaotic movement that nobody understands.

“When you regard the government as a club of friends, the people don’t understand what you’re doing, friends do not understand, international community doesn’t understand and government allies do not understand”.

Meanwhile, commenting Rama’s joke “who laughs last, laughs longer”, he adds: “I understand the expression who laughs last, laughs longer, but in this case, it doesn’t make any difference even if you laugh first”.

Braçe targets Basha

The socialist MP, Erion Braçe criticizes the stance of the opposition leader about the changes in the government cabinet. Braçe says that the democrat leader had long targeted the former minister of Interior, Sajmir Tahiri. Braçe tells Basha that he must be prepared as he may face prison.

Braçe accuses Basha for the killing of four protesters in the left wing opposition protest on 21 January 2011.

Therefore, he launches a warning against him: “Killings cannot be redeemed by anything, besides prison!”

The party stands above Albania?

Columnist Endira Bushati says that Tahiri’s removal had been decided three weeks ago, although it was only recently made public by Rama.

Meanwhile, she criticized the fact that according to her, Rama removed “successful ministers for the sake of the party”.

“The Prime Minister declared that if he was removing ministers who had undertaken ‘unprecedented reforms in the past 25 years’ and that ‘nobody thought possible up until three years ago’… They had to be at the party’s service…”, Mrs. Bushati says.

Meanwhile, she adds: “By removing the most successful government minister to mobilize him in the electoral campaign, the government once again manifests its will to ‘strengthen’ the state. It sacrifices a minister of the Republic to serve the Party. This means that the Party stands above Albania!

“Foreign pressure made Tahiri leave”

Prominent democrat activist, Kreshnik Bozho suggests that “the pressure of foreign secret services enabled Tahiri’s removal”.

Meanwhile, he says that “the removal of other ministers was made to veer off the attention of public opinion from this serious event”.

For Mr. Bozho, the situation in the country is “alarming”. “With this arrogant behavior with power and extreme abuse every hour, day and years, it’s no surprise that we would have this painful product for all of us”, he adds.

Rama fears Tahiri

Democrat MP and former minister of Education, Myqerem Tafaj says that “Rama fears Tahiri” and raises a question: “When has it ever happened for the Prime Minister to be pressured by the ministers? Is this war not similar to gang wars?”.

Tafaj predicts fresh developments. According to him, Tahiri’s removal, which was accompanied with the removal of three other ministers, will be followed in the days to come by Edi Rama’s departure.

Former PM Berisha scans the new names

Former Prime Minister and current democrat MP, Sali Berisha, scans the new government ministers.

He says that the new minister of Interior, Fatmir Xhafaj and his family are involved in drug traffic,

as his brother, Agron “is an international drug trafficker, sentenced in Italy, Venezuela and Ecuador”.

According to Berisha, Xhafaj has been appointed in this post in order to secure the traffic of heavy drugs in Albania.

The new minister of Health, former director of Tirana Hospital, is considered by Berisha as the main assistant of the discharged ministers Ilir Beqaj, in a series of tenders, where, according to the former PM, there’s been a lot of misuse with public funds.

Berisha also comments the minster of Social Affairs, Olta Xhaçka, recalling the fact that according to him, she was an important part of the former notorious financial Ponzi scheme of Shemsije Kadria from 1996 until 1997.

Meanwhile, Berisha says that former deputy mayor of Tirana, the socialist MP, Eduard Shalsi, who is becoming minister of Local Government, has been involved in embezzlement. Berisha also cites a statement that Mr. Shalsi made several years ago on TV, saying that “we will not steal as openly as the democrats”.

“Ilir Meta as a key factor”

Publicist Fatos Lubonja says that Tahiri’s removal has mainly come as a result of Ilir Meta.

According to Lubonja, using the crisis caused by the opposition’s tent, Meta is aiming to come out as the savior, as it was the case with the Reform in Justice.

Lubonja comments the declaration made by the minister of Integration, who comes from the ranks of SMI, Klajda Gjosha, immediately after Tahiri’s removal, saying that Meta must be the future Prime Minister.

“Tahiri’s removal must be seen as the removal of a man who has been used and could be used more against SMI led by Ilir Meta”, Mr. Lubonja says.

“Rama between three fires”

Writer and analyst, Preç Zogaj believes that Rama finds himself between three fires: opposition, Meta and the international community. “Finding himself between three fires, Rama had to do something to put out one or two of the fires”, Zogaj says about the removal of several ministers.

For Mr. Zogaj, the removal of the minister of Interior should have been accompanied with Rama’s departure. “It’s absurd for the Prime Minister to remove his cabinet and to hold on to his post”.

Zogaj urges Rama to leave his post, in order to deescalate the “crisis”. “The Prime Minister’s move to deescalate the crisis and the vetting process would need to be encouraged and supported. Historically, although crises have been a moment of shock, they have also proven to be a moment when politicians have the opportunity to offer the best solutions”.