Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama also officially assumed the role of Albania’s foreign minister on Friday.
Announced by President Ilir Meta, it was highlighted this was not an easy decision to decree on his side, although there has been precedent of a PM holding both posts.
“The appointment of the prime minister also as the country’s minister is a special case which is neither foreseen nor forbidden by the Constitution,” said spokesperson Ted Blushi.
“The President of the Republic evaluated this proposal in accordance with the constitution’s spirit and the Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence, making an extended and initial interpretation of constitutional provisions, and taking into consideration the fact that the exercise of the Minister’s duty by the Prime Minister is a state activity that lies within the executive sphere of the government cabinet, whose structure the Prime Minister has a right to propose,” the explanation followed.
Rama’s decision to assume the role of foreign minister came as a result of Meta’s refusal to appoint 26-year-old, Kosovo national Gent Cakaj as the new foreign minister after Rama dismissed current foreign minister Ditmir Bushati.
By not decreeing Bushati’s dismissal, Meta took away Rama’s option to give Cakaj ministerial competences without receiving Meta’s decree.
In explaining Meta’s decision, Blushi also stated Meta had also taken into consideration the importance of avoiding any constitutional crisis which could place Albania in harmful position in regards to the international arena.
Over the last two weeks, a number of local political experts have backed Meta’s decision not to decree Cakaj as the country’s chief of diplomacy for a number of reasons.
Mainly, it is Cakaj’s inexperience, young age and Kosovo nationality that had political experts second-guessing the wisdom of Rama’s choice, in addition to 2019 being a very important year for Albania’s foreign agenda, particularly in regards to the challenges that opening accession negotiations with the EU present.