Albania: Secret Service Chief Quits Suddenly


By Fatjona Mejdini

The head of the secret service in Albania, SHISH, Visho Ajazi Lika, has resigned from his position to which he was appointed in August 2012.

The news emerged on Monday after Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office said Rama had named SHISH vice director Helidon Bendo to President Ilir Meta as Ajazi’s successor.

“The move follows the resignation of the service director, which was welcomed and Visho Ajazi was thanked by the PM for his contribution,” the press release read.

Under the terms of the constitution, the Prime Minister proposes both the appointment and the dismissal of the chief of SHISH to the President.

Is not clear, however, why Ajazi resigned, as the mandate of the chief of the secret service is not limited to a set number of years.

Ajazi was a proposal of former PM Sali Berisha and his appointment was decreed by former President Bujar Nishani. He has been the subject of accusations from Rama’s Socialist Party of illegal wiretapping and biased actions.

The chairman of the opposition Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, has meanwhile claimed already that the resignation followed political pressure. “I don’t have any other conclusion [that this occurred] besides political pressure,” he said.

By law, the chief of the secret service reports to and informs the President and the Prime Minister on issues concerning national security.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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