Albania prime minister reshuffles cabinet ahead of elections

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s left-wing prime minister on Tuesday reshuffled some main posts ahead of parliamentary elections next year.

Edi Rama said acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj resigned and would be replaced by former defense minister Olta Xhacka. Niko Peleshi, former deputy prime minister in a previous cabinet under Rama, will take over as defense minister.

Rama gave no reason for the reshuffle. Cakaj, whose nomination as foreign minister was not approved by President Ilir Meta due to the president’s political frictions with Rama, has said he would be involved in politics ahead of the April 25 elections.

Albania’s parliament is dominated by the left-wing Socialist Party, which is expected to win in the contest dominated by issues including the recovery from the November 2019 earthquake and returning the economy back to growth after the coronavirus pandemic.

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This story is corrected to show that it was not the resigned acting minister in friction with the prime minister, but the president who approves the minister’s nomination.

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