Transport minister resigns

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 2, 2016 12:42
Transport Minister Edmond Haxhinasto

Transport Minister Edmond Haxhinasto

TIRANA, Sept. 2 – Transport Minister Edmond Haxhinasto has submitted his resignation and is expected to be replaced by another senior official of the Socialist Movement for Integration, the ruling Socialist Party’s junior partner. Haxhinasto has officially cited he is resigning to engage more in party matters ahead of next year’s general elections.

A senior figure of the SMI, Haxhinasto had been serving as transport minister since Sept. 2013 when the Socialist Party-led coalition came to power. He also previously served as foreign and economy minister and was a deputy PM during the previous Democratic Party-led government from 2009 to 2013 representing the SMI, then in coalition with the Democrats.

Haxhinasto is expected to be replaced by Sokol Dervishaj, another senior figure of the SMI, a previous deputy foreign minister and the current cabinet chief at the Parliament headquarters.

The reshuffle is the second the SMI has made during the past three years of its coalition with the Socialist Party.

In Nov. 2015 Justice Minister Nasip Naço resigned citing personal reasons and was replaced by Ylli Manjani, a SMI deputy leader.

Last February, Shkelqim Cani of the ruling Socialist Party was dismissed as finance minister and replaced by Economy Minister Arben Ahmetaj in the first government reshuffle within the Socialist Party which leads the ruling left coalition that came to power following the June 2013 general elections.

The new government reshuffle comes ten months ahead of the next scheduled general elections when the SMI, which has emerged as a kingmaker in the past two elections, is expected to be decisive again.

The SMI is represented in the government with five ministers including the transport, justice, agriculture, environment and European Integration ministers.  SMI leader Ilir Meta is the Speaker of Parliament.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 2, 2016 12:42