Debate over the president's decision to reject the PM's nominee for Foreign Minister

Debate over the president's decision to reject the PM's nominee for Foreign Minister
The president of Albania, Ilir Meta has put an end to all doubts surrounding the nomination of the 28 year old Gent Cakaj as Foreign minister.

Today, the president has officially refused to decree Gent Cakaj’s nomination as minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, while signing all other nominations.

In his reply to PM Edi Rama, Meta says that amongst others, Cakaj is inexperienced and his public declarations regarding the issue of Kosovo’s borders are unacceptable.

According to him, during the time he served as deputy Foreign minister, he has displayed a lack of responsibility.

“Gent Cakaj’s candidacy does not deliver the necessary criteria, it does not guarantee credibility and it does not offer the necessary assurances that he will be up to the task of the minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. Under these circumstances, the president of Republic, who is also the head of the National Security Council and who has a specific role in the country’s foreign policy, refuses your proposal for the nomination of Gent Cakaj as minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania”, Meta argues.

Meta also says that the way how Cakaj has been issued with a security clearance in just one day, does not guarantee the credibility of the Security Clearances issued by the Department of Classified Information. /ibna/

PM Rama attacks the President: The rejection of the Foreign Minister is a disgraceful act

Albanian PM Edi Rama has reacted today following the decision taken by the President of Republic, Ilir Meta not to sign the decree for the nomination of the new Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Gent Cakaj.

According to Mr. Rama, this decision “is not only unconstitutional, but also disgraceful”.

The PM declared a few minutes after the announcement of the president’s decision that “the arguments provided by Mr. President are outrageous and shameful for the institution that he represents”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rama concluded his message by saying: “Our apologies to Kosovo for this disgrace”.

All the reasons why the President rejected the nomination of the Albanian from Kosovo as Albania’s Foreign minister

The long letter that the President of Republic has sent to PM Edi Rama and which IBNA holds, provides a number of arguments why he rejected the nomination of Gent Cakaj, 28 years old, Albanian from Kosovo, who also holds Albanian citizenship, as minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania.

First, the President of Republic says that “the position of the minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs is one of the most important positions in the cabinet; now more than ever that the country is part of the OSCE Troika and when in less than a year, it’s getting ready to take over its presidency. This is a historical step and a responsibility which goes beyond the borders of Albania and the region”.

“Meanwhile, the days, weeks and the months to come are decisive because Albania is ahead of a vital decision: the opening of accession talks with the European Union in June 2019. The advancement of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, with the aim of strengthening the European perspective for both countries, is also another important development of our region”.

Meanwhile, Meta adds that “because there’s no time to experiment and test the capacities and skills of the proposed minister in front of current major challenges that the country faces and its national interests, I believe that the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs should be led by an experienced and effective person, who has a high sense of state, national and administrative responsibility and one who is aware of the great and decisive impact that he will have on foreign policy, particularly next month, but also during Albania’s presidency of the OSCE, which is a historical responsibility for our country”.

The president also says that “the profile of Mr. Genti Cakaj, who has been proposed for the post of the minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, clearly lacks political, diplomatic, administrative and stately experience in each individual element and as a whole”.

The president continued with his criticism on Cakaj:

“While exerting his duty as vice minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gent Cakaj has shown that not only he lacks the necessary experience in foreign policy, but his public declarations regarding key issues which concern our regional policy are unacceptable”.

Here, Mr. Meta mentions the declarations that Mr. Cakaj has made about the idea for border adjustments between Kosovo and Serbia and also in the Western Balkans, by stressing that “they’re against the program of the current government for foreign policy”.

Meta considers Mr. Cakaj’s declarations as “dangerous and with unpredictable consequences in the region and beyond” and that “they’re against the regional policy of the Albanian state, NATO and the European Union”.

The president also believes that “supporting, sponsoring or failing to react decisively against ideas for territorial swaps and border adjustments in the region represents a destructive approach which threatens peace and security in the region and it goes against Albania’s obligation as a NATO member country.” According to Meta, "this also mines the country’s credibility as a factor of stability in the region”.

Meanwhile, the President has also identified other problems with Rama’s candidate for the post of the minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Gent Cakaj displayed a lack of responsibility while exerting his duty as vice minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, by disregarding the laws and acts  that guarantee a secure movement of state classified information. He was nominated vice Minister of Foreign Affairs without obtaining the mandatory security clearance”.

What’s more, Cakaj has filled the application form on 3 January 2019 (3 days after he was proposed for the post of Foreign Minister).

But, “by failing to fill the application form and by failing to obtain a clearance certificate for the period 7 June 2018 to 3 January 2019, not only has Cakaj jeopardized classified information involving the state, NATO and EU, but he has also openly disregarded a clear legal obligation”.

Meanwhile, “the fact that it only took a day to DSIK to issue a security clearance for Mr. Gent Cakaj (04.01.2019), clearly shows that this process has taken place in urgent circumstances and against the procedures and requirements foreseen in the law ‘On classified state information’”.

“Judging by the way how Cakaj has been issued with a security clearance in just one day, does not guarantee the credibility of the Security Clearances issued by the Department of Classified Information (DSIK)”, the president notes.

Another issue concerning Cakaj relates to the fact that he has lived in Belgium and Hungary  for several years and although the law requires it, no checks have been made there despite the fact that Cakaj was appointed vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Under these circumstances, the President officially rejects Cakaj’s nomination for the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and does not accept the dismissal of the existing minister, Ditmir Bushati.

PM Edi Rama now must either accept Bushati’s reinstatement or propose another person for this post.

Expert of constitutional affairs comments the president’s decision to refuse the nomination of the Foreign Minister: It is not a political gamr

Former chairman of the Central Election Commission in Albania, Çlirim Gjata has commented the decision taken by the President of Republic, Ilir Meta to refuse the candidate proposed by PM Edi Rama for the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Gjata says that the rejection of Gent Cakaj’s nomination as Foreign minister shows that this is not a political game, because the decision has been based on the Constitution and the law.

“Gent Cakaj may well be an honest man, but he should have acted in accordance to the law and procedures. And this is what president Ilir Meta did”, Mr. Gjata said.

According to him, the fact that the security clearance is obtained in record time, within a day, is unacceptable.

“State personalities must be issued with security clearances in order for classified information not to leave their offices. So, this is not a civil certificate, but a security clearance certificate”, Mr. Gjata says.

On the other hand, Gjata also comments the challenges that Albania faces and if these challenges could be handled by Rama’s candidate.

Gjata criticizes the fact that Cakaj made an open declaration regarding territorial swaps between Kosovo and Serbia and the fact that he has talked about border changes in Western Balkans.

“In June, we’re expecting to launch accession talks with the European Union. It’s a very delicate moment. He declared that borders between Kosovo and Serbia should be reviewed and this is a dangerous declaration. Although his proposal has been rejected, the statement that he made is still there. If we want to be part of Europe, we need to be serious”.

Gjata also makes a comment about the President: “At last we’re seeing a president who is showing his authority.

Albanian former  vice Foreign minister considers Rama’s reaction a disgrace

“Governing and foreign policy are serious issues and no games”

The head of the Department for Foreign Policy at the Democratic Party, Kreshnik Çollaku considers PM Edi Rama’s reaction following the President’s decision to reject the nomination of Gent Cakaj as Foreign Minister, as divisive and disgraceful.

“I praise the president’s decision to refuse Gent Cakaj’s nomination as Foreign Minister. Governing and foreign policy are serious issues and not games”, Mr. Çollaku says.

According to the prominent politician of the Albanian right wing and former vice Foreign minister “the President’s decision about the Foreign Minister does not damage Kosovo, on the contrary, it defends Kosovo”.

Therefore, he considers Rama’s reaction as “disgraceful and divisive”.

Tahiri: Cakaj was diabolically nominated by Rama as Foreign Minister

Kosovo’s former deputy Prime Minister, Edita Tahiri, known as lead negotiator in the process of talks between Kosovo and Sebria, considered the decision taken today by the Albanian president not to nominate Gent Cakaj as Albania’s Foreign minister as a positive one.

“I would like to praise this visionary decision of the President of Albania, who defended Kosovo’s borders”, was said today by Edita Tahiri, prominent Albanian politician, diplomat and negotiator.

“Today, Ilir Meta refused a candidate who was in favour of changing Kosovo’s borders and who was intentionally and diabolically nominated by PM Rama”, the former deputy PM for Foreign Policy and National Security, former Minister of Public Administration and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

Former deputy Prime Minister Shehu: Rama must resign following the president’s refusal

“The arguments provided by the President exclude the possibility for Cakaj’s renomination”

Prof. Dr. Tritan Shehu, former deputy Prime Minister of Albania, says that “the arguments that president Ilir Meta has provided do not allow PM Edi Rama to renominate Cakaj for the position of Foreign minister”.

Former Foreign minister and currently an MP of the Democratic Party, Mr. Shehu adds that “all the arguments provided by the head of the state forbid the Prime Minister from renominating Cakaj as the head of Albanian diplomacy”.

Tritan Shehu, senior official of the Democratic Party says that there’s only one solution now for Rama.

“Now that his nomination has been rejected, PM Rama has only one option, and that is to resign. The government has fallen, the Prime Minister has fallen and many issues which relate to upholding the state’s interest have been exposed. Under these circumstances, there’s no other alternative but for him to resign and give way to big political changes in the country. He must resign in order to give way to big changes that Albania needs to make, such as changes in the electoral system and for the country to advance in its EU integration path”, Dr. Shehu said.

PM Rama slams politicians in Albania and Kosovo who congratulated the President for his decision

The Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama has followed the reactions coming in the recent hours by politicians in Kosovo and Albania regarding the decision taken by the President of Albania, Ilir Meta not to sign the decree for the nomination of Gent Cakaj as Foreign Minister.

Mr. Rama reacted after IBNA’s publication of a comment issued by Edita Tahiri, who praised President Meta for his decision.

“Edita Tahiri is joining the choir of those miserable politicians who praise the decision taken by Ilir Meta, the visionary man”, Mr. Rama said in the comment posted  a few moments ago, a comment which was filled with irony and contempt.

Meanwhile, he adds: “Listen to the bitterness and darkness that these so called visionaries are reflecting in the form of love for the nation”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rama addressed a message for Tahiri, defending Cakaj: “Edita, Gent Cakaj deserves your attacks as much as these so called visionaries deserve to be called humans. What about you?”, says Rama, who does not consider those people who congratulated Meta for his decision as humans.

Baton Haxhiu uses a threatening language against the President: You’re making a historical mistake

Prominent analyst and journalist and the director of Klan Kosova in Pristina, Baton Haxhiu, known as advisor to the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, has sent a letter to the President of Albania, Ilir Meta in relation to Gent Cakaj, the name proposed by Rama for the position of Foreign minister.

Today, president Meta announced his decision not to sign Cakaj’s nomination as minister, while Baton Haxhiu says that “Meta has made a historical mistake with this”.

The letter starts with a clear disregard of the institution that the President represents:

“Ilir, your role in decreeing the nomination of cabinet members is just ceremonial”.

Meanwhile, Haxhiu also uses a language which stops short of being a threatening language or a warning: “In case you want to take advantage of the voids that exist in the Albanian judicial system for political gains, not only you will deny this post to a man who would bring hope in society and knowledge in institutions, but you will also seal the deep institutional divide between Kosovo and Albania, between Albanians of Kosovo and Albanians of Albania”.

At the end of his letter,  Baton Haxhiu issues another warning: “You’re making a big mistake. Don’t go any further with this historical mistake”.

 Former Justice minister Manjani criticizes PM Rama for the attack on the President

Former Justice minister, Ylli Manjani reacts in this special report by IBNA today for the aggressive behaviour manifested by PM Edi Rama against president Ilir Meta.

Manjani’s declaration follows Rama’s strong reaction against the president today for not signing the decree relating to the nomination of Gent Cakaj as Foreign minister.

“You’re apologizing to Kosovo”, Manjani says with heavy irony, quoting Rama’s message. “For what? For being on Vucic’s side in the dialogue on the border issue?! Or is it because you have made it much more expensive for the citizens of Kosovo to have access to the sea?! Oh, no, you’re apologizing about the fact that Cakaj’s nomination was rejected”, Manjani says, adding: “The claim for breach of the Constitution is the most ridiculous one”.

According to Manjani, it’s absurd to use such standard. On one hand to criticize the president of causing damages to Kosovo and on the other, to support border changes and impose taxes on the citizens of Kosovo who enter and exit Albania.

Debate between the president and prime minister of Albania intensifies

PM Rama: President violated the Constitution, he has no shame

Debate between the president and prime minister of Albania intensifies.

Prime Minister Edi Rama attacked the president of the country, Ilir Meta for the second time today by accusing him of breaching the Constitution.

According to Rama, Meta breached the Constitution today when he decided not to sign the decree for the nomination of Gent Cakaj as Foreign minister.

Rama also says that Meta has discredited Cakaj in a shameful manner.

“Our President has breached the Constitution, he has attacked the government, he has discredited a young man who is a thousand times more knowledgeable than him based on hearsay... What a disgrace! Ilir Meta and the other miserable politicians are defending Kosovo from an Albanian from Kosovo”, Rama said in his reaction a few moments ago.


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