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Tired and Emotional

More changes in government, this time in response to the resignation of the foreign minister, Besnik Mustafaj. Lulzim Basha will take over at the MFA and Sokol Olldashi, who resigned as Minister of the Interior to run for mayor of Tirana will come back into government replacing Basha at the Ministry of Public Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications.

According to the report in SETimes, the minister announced, "I'm tired and this is a sufficient reason to quit." It's a less than convincing line - especially given that President Bush is on his way to Albania in a few weeks - and inevitably there has been much speculation about conflicts within the government.

Coming on top of recent dissent within the ruling coalition following the municipal elections, and disputes over the nomination of candidates for President, it does seem that the government is not exactly at peace with itself.

The opposition has been making much of Mustafaj's decision, claiming that it demonstrates the weakness, failure and disunity of the government. Though the opposition can hardly claim to be a shining example of unity either.

The opposition was also protesting about the decision of the Central Election Commission to rerun municipality elections in Elbasan. Though the result from only one district was declared invalid, the CEC decided to repeat the vote in all 21 districts. (The CEC website lists results for 22 districts in Elbasan - I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy in the number.)


strangeMAN said…
Now that's something we needed: a good old minister shift. The newly not yet nominated ministers will make a BIG difference. I feel it, it's a turning point. Anybody feelin' anything?
Seriously, this is ridiculous. This govt has miserably failed. And it hurts to say this beacuse I even voted for these guys.
Andi said…
I couldn't agree more strangeman! This reminds me of Albania in the 1920 and 1930 when you had the same ministers revolving each year - so I guess it has become part of our political culture (if we indeed have one at all!).

Having said that, I am glad to see Mustafaj leave! The guy was not cut to be in politics, less so in the post that he held. Not sure if he was good at anything quite frankly! My mum held him in high esteem for his poetry but having read him last year - I can say with confidence that he was no Mandelstam either! But in any event, good luck to him!

The new guy, Lulzim. Well, the guy has never had anything to do with international affairs. He worked for UNMIK's public services department and was a minister of public works here! Read: not impressive resume, given the increasingly poor public services both here and in Kosova! I guess speaking English, a degree from the West and a few years of UN work in Kosova will take you very high in the echelons of the Democratic Party! I wish they had appointed Edit Harxhi - she seems polished at least and seem to have brains compare to others in the DP establishment!

In any event, I think these are all the doings of Josephine Baker (Topalli) seems to me that she and Berisha have made quite an alliance together. Is sad to see that the leadership of DP is condemned to be occupied by stubborn and categorical man (since I do believe that is only a matter before Topalli comes out to everyone that she has all this time been a man in disguise=)

Let's hope is all for the best!
our man said…
It's not that different in the UK. Peter Mandelson was sacked from the cabinet twice and then reappeared as an European Commissioner. John Reid has held seven different cabinet posts since 1997. Blair's cabinet has been stuffed full of people promoted beyond their abilities simply because they are friends of Tony.
Anonymous said…
people were saying in Tirana today that "tired" was just an excuse and that Berisha removed him. Why though?!
Anonymous said…
you voted for these guys?!
After 97? It was just 10 years ago. How could you? What were you thinking? Were you really expecting miracles from Berisha and his clones? I remember the lections, many of my friends voted for them and now they regret it and we had 2 years of regression and tension in the air.
strangeMAN said…
yes, I did. Out of hope, more than belief. I couldn't really vote for th other guy, who was a shame. The choice was PD or a blank vote.
As I said, I hoped things could change. But they won't. They usually don't here.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
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