Editorial: Citizens need to know why the intelligence chief resigned

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 3, 2017 09:39

Editorial: Citizens need to know why the intelligence chief resigned

Story Highlights

  • The fact that Ajazi has not spoken publicly and not given any reason for his resignation has led to some confusion. The resignation happens when the relations between yesterday's allies, SP and SMI in the opposition have changed in a negative way and Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta are not in good terms. Their consensus is needed to sack and approve the head of SHISH.

Related Articles

Visho Ajazi, the head of Albania’s intelligence service, SHISH, has resigned without giving any reasons for his decision. This abrupt resignation has raised many questions, particularly because it happened in the context of new political developments in the country – tied to an investigation of alleged ties of the former interior minister with cannabis traffickers.

SHISH has been heavily involved in preventive and discovery efforts in the war against cannabis in Albania. It is not a secret that the intelligence service is often the right tool to address the fight against organized crime – including drugs trafficking.

Of course this is on top of other state security concerns, including terrorism prevention. Albania’s intelligence service has managed to prevent terrorist attacks in the past, in cooperation with partner services. All efforts to be applauded.

So then, what is behind this resignation?

The opposition says Ajazi resigned due to government pressure as a result of the involvement of SHISH in the detection of drug trafficking and the investigation involving Saimir Tahiri, the former interior minister.

The fact that Ajazi has not spoken publicly and not given any reason for his resignation has led to some confusion.

The resignation happens when the relations between yesterday’s allies, SP and SMI in the opposition have changed in a negative way and Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta are not in good terms. Their consensus is needed to sack and approve the head of SHISH.

So where does Ajazi’s resignation stands in this context? Most Socialists and media tied with the left have seen Ajazi as a man nominated by former Democratic Party Prime Minister Sali Berisha and thus naturally allied with the opposition. So his resignation is seen in that context. Rama needs a more trusted person as top spy.

Even so, in such a microscopic place that behaves as if it were the center of the world, there are other scenarios for the engagement – pressure from outside powers etc – conspiracy theories that sometimes rise in this region.

But is it completely possible that none of the above explanations is true. The explanation can also be more mundane, not related to performance or political conflicts – neither with the commitment of SHISH to drugs and its interstate traffics, neither with the reform in justice nor with the prime minister, President or foreign powers. It could have been something personal. The problem is that the intelligence chief has resigned and has given no explanation.

That is wrong. The heavy inheritance when the intelligence service heads left office to be hanged or shot – during the communist regime – is over.

Albania is a democratic country, and citizens need to know the motives of why the intelligence chief resigns. We need to set Western democratic standards – and those require transparency.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 3, 2017 09:39