The wait of Edi Rama long 84 days has come to an end. His government's mandate began on Sunday evening with a brief speech by the Prime Minister in front of the citizens present at the main entrance of the government headquarters and the first meeting of the Council of Ministers in which three government decrees of strong symbolic impact were approved.
The structure and composition of the government are no longer news because they were announced at the end of July. As claimed by Rama himself, "Its structure starts from the analysis of the existing one and is based on the priorities and some basic needs of the country". A detail that can also be seen in the renaming of some ministries that reflect some of the key words of the electoral program, such as: economic development, urban development, rural development, welfare, business, water administration. In this process, Rama would also have taken into account the structuring of the executives of the new countries of the European Union, instead according to the journalist Mentor Nazarko, the government would greatly reflect the structure of the Italian executives.
The existing structure would be "An administrative body full of parasites that must be reduced" to improve its efficiency. The staff of the Council Presidency and those of other 6 ministries that still maintain current competences will be reduced and restructured. These are Finance, Internal Affairs, Defense, Foreign Affairs, European Integration and Justice. All other ministries will be reorganized and some even renamed. The Economy is divided into two departments: on the one hand Economic Development, Trade and Enterprise and on the other Energy and Industry. The same fate also applies to public works and transport: on the one hand, transport and infrastructure, and on the other, urban development and tourism.
Particular importance is given to the ministry of culture which will deal only with culture and cultural heritage, stripping it of delegations of tourism, sport and youth. Sport is absorbed by the education department, while youth will be part of that of welfare. Change the name of the Ministry of Agriculture which also makes room for the delegations of Rural Development and Water Administration. Minor reorganization for the departments of Health and the Environment: consumer protection, now the prerogative of the Environment, passes to Health.
In total the new government will have a Deputy Prime Minister, sixteen ministries and three ministers without portfolio, such as: Innovation and Public Administration, Local Affairs and Relations with Parliament.
Standards and records
The Rama government sets new standards in the history of the Albanian executives. The most innovative and at the same time the most discussed even within the same majority is the incompatibility of the ministerial mandate with that of parliamentarian. It is not a constitutional practice, but an electoral promise of Rama and a pact signed by the center-left coalition. In fact, with the exception of Rama, all sixteen deputy ministers of his government will give up the parliamentary mandate.
Two other standards were the inaugural speech before the citizens and the Code of Ethics of the government whose contents are not yet known and which the opposition has already branded as "the Code of Silence".
The Rama government also establishes some primates of the executives of Albanian democracy. It is the executive with the largest number of women: 6 women on 21 members. For the first time the Minister of Defense will be a woman: Mimi Kodheli. For the first time, he will have a Deputy Prime Minister who will not cover and will not include Greek minorities usually represented by the Union for Human Rights. All of its socialist members are ministers for the first time, instead of 5 socialist integration members, 3 were ministers during the government coalition with Berisha's democrats.
And it is precisely on the alliance with the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) that the only gray standard of the new government is founded: despite the stakes of Rama, Meta has its own decision-making autonomy and has shown it with the choice of ministers . If Rama had asked for new figures and the exclusion of the Berisha government ministers, Meta opted for the political experience of its leaders, re-proposing them as members of the new executive.
The biggest surprise in the toto-ministers was the promotion of the Mayor of Korça Niko Peleshi to full-time Deputy Prime Minister who will take care of the priorities. The confidence of Rama in Peleshi and local administrators should be maximum: Korça is one of the most important Albanian cities and with the resignation of Mayor Peleshi, the elections will soon be held to elect the new one. Another administrator will be part of the executive, this is Lindita Nikolla, who has governed the First Municipality of Tirana for two terms and now will take the reins of Education and Sport.
As stated by Rama himself, his is a political and non-technical government, even though many of the ministers are PhDs or professors in their fields of expertise and there are technical personalities like in the case of Shkëlqim Cani, ex-governor of the Albanian Central Bank that will lead the Ministry of Finance. Instead between purely political appointments fall Dakmir Gjiknuri and Bledi Çuçi. Both directed the PS Secretariat on electoral affairs. Gjiknushi will be Minister of Energy and Çuçi Minister without portfolio of Local Affairs.
The Rama government is also a young executive: the average age of its members is 44 years. Some important ministries will head some ministries such as Saimir Tahiri at the Interior, Ditmir Bushati at Foreign Affairs, Erion Veliaj at Welfare, all three of Rama's limited staff. Instead, the 29-year-old Klajda Gjosha of the LSI will deal with European integration.
Of the 19 ministers, 14 belong to the PS and five to the LSI. Gjosha and Lefter Koka at the head of the Environment, as their colleagues in the PS are ministers for the first time, instead the other three LSI ministers such as Edmond Panariti to Agriculture, Edmond Haxhinasto to Transportation and Nasip Naço to Justice are the proof evident continuity with the Berisha government.
The Ministry of Justice - as agreed - would have liked to judge Spartak Ngjela, one of Rama's minor allies and much appreciated by public opinion. The outstretched leg of the LSI forced Rama to propose to Ngjela alternatively the post of Minister without Portfolio for Relations with Parliament. Ngjela did not accept the proposal because he would have signed an agreement for the public interest and not the personal one. The delegation of Relations with Parliament will be by the socialist Ilirian Celibashi. The other Minister without Portfolio for Innovation and Public Administration will be Milena Harito.
The owner of Urban Development and Tourism will also be a woman. It is Eglantina Gjermani. Instead, Economic Development, Trade and Enterprise will be entrusted to Arben Ahmetaj.
Among the ministers, the only one to come from civil society is Mirela Kumbaro and will lead the Culture ,. Kumbaro, Associate Professor in the field of Linguistics, translator and publicist, was very critical of the center-left coalition.
In the first Council meeting, as announced on the official website, the Rama government approved three decrees of strong symbolic impact that also reflect three of its electoral promises. The first is a recognition for Ismail Bej Vlora, the statesman and visionary who led Independence and laid the foundations of the Albanian state: his photograph will replace that of the Head of State in all public institutions.
The second concerns the prohibition of importing waste. After the elections, despite Rama's warning, the Berisha government also approved decrees that collided with the center-left program. These include two that favor waste imports for the recycling industry. The third concerns the Code of Ethics of Executive Members. This is the set of rules that will regulate their behavior with public opinion and other institutional and political actors.
Unfortunately, we do not know the text of the decrees that were not published as usual on the official website of the government. Indeed on the website of the Council of Ministers which already has a new configuration, the item "decrees and bills" does not exist and all the work and news on the previous Councils of Ministers have disappeared. Whatever the reasons for the non-publication of the decrees, these cannot prevail over transparency and the right of public opinion to information.
The wait for Rama is over! The Prime Minister himself has charged his executive with epochal expectations and responsibilities to the extent not even requested by the citizens who voted for him. This would show Rama's intentions and vision for the country's future, but it is time for them to take shape to amaze us all!
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