Rama-Meta clash turns into show of political strength

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 6, 2018 11:33

Rama-Meta clash turns into show of political strength

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  • However, political science experts and analysts pointed out Rama’s decision to appoint Lleshi deputy minister of interior is a clear sign the communication between Rama and Meta has been interrupted.

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TIRANA, Nov. 6 – The clash between Albania’s President Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama to appoint General Sander Lleshi as the new interior minister, after Fatmir Xhafaj resigned last weekend, seem to have turned into a show of strength between the institutions Rama and Meta represent.

As Meta notified through a short announcement on Saturday he had not created the right conviction to trust Lleshi as a candidate for interior minister, Rama said on Monday morning, after the Socialist Party’s parliamentary group meeting, the parliament will approve Meta’s decree to dismiss Xhafaj while making Lleshi deputy minister of interior with all the competencies of the minister himself.

On Sunday morning, Meta and Rama had a 90-minute long private meeting, after which the PM’s office announced the two had discussed concerning Lleshi in a constructive manner and had decided to keep the dialogue between them open.

“The conversation was open and constructive and the prime minister will continue communicating with the President of the Republic,” explained the announcement the PM’s office.

However, political science experts and analysts pointed out Rama’s decision to appoint Lleshi deputy minister of interior is a clear sign the communication between Rama and Meta has been interrupted.

On his side, Meta also reacted in harsh tones through a spokesperson from the president’s office.

“The Head of State confirms his maximum commitment in respect to the Constitution, to cooperate with all state institutions, in the interest of stability, institutional empowerment and growth of institutional cooperation with transparency and constructiveness, but will not allow any challenging attempt against the authority of the institution he represents as Head of State, General Commander of the Armed Forces and Head of the National Security Council,” Meta’s spokesperson announced.

The spokesperson also underlined that Meta has always been available to provide transparent and responsible explanations for whatever issue the parliament is concerned and added the president is convinced the days Albania was led by a “First Secretary” are over.

Meta’s position for the appointment of a new minister has opened up a constitutional conflict and a previously unregistered precedent.

According to the Albanian Constitution, a minister is appointed and dismissed by the president upon the PM’s proposal within seven days, leaving no room for intervention by the president himself. The constitution further stipulates the president, in exercising his powers, issues decrees.

In the current situation, Meta decreed the dismissal of Xhafaj as minister of interior also referring to the legal framework, while the announcement for rejecting Lleshi as the new MoI has not been officially motivated by any legal decree and an official announcement in the official website of the president is missing.

In this context, Meta’s reasons behind Lleshi’s rejection are still unclear.

During an interview on Friday night, Meta said the president is obliged to practice all his constitutional duties in order to be fully convinced for any kind of proposal brought to him to decree and added this case is particularly delicate and requires the uttermost attention.

However, local media has reported this stand does not have a previous precedent.

Last year, former President Bujar Nishani who publicly spoke against appointing current Minister of Interior Fatmir Xhafaj, nonetheless accepted he did not have the competence to reject the proposal.

Meanwhile, analyst Lutfi Dervishi said the constitutional article that foresees appointing and dismissing ministers seems like way to impose to the president the automatic decree of every ministerial proposal coming from the prime minister.

Despite differing opinions, analysts claim Meta is trying to maintain his influence on new appointments in all institutions; in the justice system, intelligence services, government etc, and provide the role of a guarantor and constructive officer, for as long as the new names are approved by him.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 6, 2018 11:33