Albanian President Meta refuses to appoint Gent Cakaj as Foreign Minister

Ilir Meta; Photo: Albanian Parliament

TIRANA – President of Albania Ilir Meta refused to appoint Gent Cakaj as the new Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs in the Government of Edi Rama.

Cakaj was supposed to succeed Ditmir Bushati in the context of a larger government reshuffle initiated by Rama. Meta appointed all other six ministerial candidates proposed by Rama.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister on Thursday, the President noted Cakaj’s failure to receive a security clearance despite being a Deputy Foreign Minister for seven months, Balkan Insight reports.

“Cakaj does not fulfil the criteria, does not have credibility and does not offer the necessary guarantees to exert his duties objectively and with the required stature,” Meta wrote.

According to RTS, the reason behind Meta’s decision is Cakaj’s support to Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi’s proposal for border correction with Serbia. Cakaj holds the citizenships of both Albania and Kosovo.

In a tweet following Meta’s decision, Prime Minister Rama apologised to the people of Kosovo.

Appointment of the ministers is regulated by the Article 98 of Albanian Constitution. A minister is appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic, on the proposal of the Prime Minister.

The Constitution does not stipulate that the President can refuse Prime Minister’s proposal. However, Albania currently lacks a functioning constitutional court to settle the matter, Balkan Insight reminds.