Rama names new smaller, gender-balanced cabinet

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 27, 2017 23:28

Rama names new smaller, gender-balanced cabinet

Story Highlights

  • Rama made the announcement at the Socialist Party Assembly Meeting on Sunday, which was brought together to analyze the Socialist victory of the June 25 general elections and public hearings held to help steer governance for the next four years.

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TIRANA, Aug. 27 – Prime Minister Edi Rama has nominated Albania’s next government – a cabinet that will have fewer ministries than the previous government and that will see half of the seats be occupied by women.

The number of ministers has been reduced to 11 from the current 16, with several ministries merging with or handing over responsibilities to others.

Rama made the announcement at the Socialist Party Assembly Meeting on Sunday, which was brought together to analyze the Socialist victory of the June 25 general elections and public hearings held to help steer governance for the next four years.

In addition to being fully gender-balanced, the new government will also have a woman deputy prime minister in Senida Mesi, a previously little known Shkodra university executive educated in Germany who was just elected as a member of parliament in the northwestern county.

Two new state minister offices have been created. Perennial Socialist MP and former Prime Minister Pandeli Majko will be the new Diaspora Minister, while Sonila Qato, who currently heads a large government agency, will serve as the State Minister for Entrepreneurship Protection. State Ministries typically operate out of the Prime Minister’s Office and are not full ministries.

Another new name in the second Rama cabinet is Minister of Justice Etilda Gjonaj, who had been a vice minister in the same institution in the previous government. Olta Xhaçka is also a newcomer at the helm of the Ministry of Defense.

Among key people keeping their seats from the previous government is Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati. Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafa is also making a return to the cabinet seat he handed to a caretaker minister during the election period. Infrastructure and Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri is returning to a larger ministry expanded through merging two institutions.

Health and Welfare Minister Ogerta Manastirliu is also having two ministries merged under her. She had previously served as health minister for a short time in the previous cabinet. Mirela Kumbaro remains in charge of the Ministry Culture as does Lindita Nikolla at the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Arben Ahmetaj, the former Minister of Finance, is keeping the seat, but in a larger ministry merged with the economy and labor portfolios.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will be led by former Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi, while Blendi Klosi will keep his seat at the Ministry of Tourism, which has been merged with the Ministry of the Environment.

Prime Minister Rama gave a long speech to the assembly, describing what he said was the heavy burden Albanians had given to the Socialist Party through the large electoral victory that allows them to govern alone for the next four years.

Rama also said he hoped there would be cooperation with the opposition on major issues.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 27, 2017 23:28