By Peter Tase
The Republic of Albania, after a landslide victory from the general election of June 23rd, is expected to be governed by the Socialist Party and the Socialist Integration Movement (in Albanian: LSI), an alliance that both political parties signed April 1, 2013, in the city of Shkoder.
On July 31, the Prime Minister Elect of Albania, Edi Rama announced the members of the council of ministers that he will begin to preside in September.
According to Mr. Rama, “The New Albanian government will not be the traditional setting that demonstrates power [and engages in daily rhetoric], but a gathering of tireless public servants in a round table who will work with great honesty in order to justify the extraordinary expectations that Albanian people have towards us as an alliance and myself as the new Prime Minister. The new government is the embodiment of how to better share the tasks within the majority that emerged after the June 23rd elections. Our coalition will be reflected in the executive branch and in the parliament in which both parties (Albanian initials: PSSH and LSI) will amend into law the reforms of our revival.
We have worked together with great patience and dedication to bring together a group of people who are willing to work in a government that aspires to work hard with transparency, from the first day until the last day of our [four year] term. I would like to emphasize that our government ought to have as its first priority the values of team work in order to face extraordinary circumstances which we will need to improve the betterment of all Albanians’ lives.”
In the new Albanian government there will be six women ministers; this is an historic and unprecedented achievement since the country’s independence in 1912. However Albania’s outgoing Prime Minister, Dr. Sali Berisha, compared the size of Edi Rama’s cabinet of ministers with that of Belarus. Noting that Tirana’s new government will be the second largest government in Europe after Minsk.
It is not surprising for Dr. Berisha to make such a speculative reference with the government of Belarus, who is not taking a look into his own backyard. To set the record straight, Dr. Berisha’s government has: only one woman minister, Majlinda Bregu, the Minister of European Integration, fifteen ministers and thirty one deputy ministers spread in all fourteen ministries. Additionally Mr. Berisha has an extensive staff of advisers that exceeds the number of President Obama’s advisers in the White House.
In the public’s interest, Belarus is not the only country that has a large government, it has twenty four ministries; currently the Republic of Romania has a larger government than Minsk. Romanian Prime Minister, Victor – Viorel Ponta leads a government with twenty seven ministers.
The members of the new Albanian government are:
Edi Rama, Prime Minister
Niko Peleshi, Deputy Prime Minister
Shkëlqim Cani, Minister of Finances
Saimir Tahiri, Minister of the Interior
Mimi Kodheli, Minister of Defense
Ditmir Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Klajda Gjosha, Minister of European Integration
Nasip Naço, Minister of Justice
Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of Economic Development, trade and Entrepreneurship
Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Energy and Industry
Edmond Haxhinasto, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Eglantina Gjermeni, Minister of Urban Development and Tourism
Edmond Panariti, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration
Ilir Beqja, Minister of Health
Lindita Nikolla, Minister of Education and Sports
Erjon Veliaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth
Mirela Kumbaro, Minister of Culture
Lefter Koka, Minister of Environment
Milena Harito, Minister of Information Innovation and Public Administration
Bledi Çuçi, Minister of Local Government
Ilirjan Celibashi, Minister of State for the relations with Parliament