Increasing international pressure on Prime Minister Edi Rama, echoing the loudly voiced concerns of the opposition, has led to the dismissal of Minister of Interior Affairs Saimir Tahiri, widely held responsible for the ineffective police response to last year’s boom in drug cultivation and trafficking.
With the removal of Minister Tahiri, Prime Minister Rama has effectively killed three birds with one stone:
- He has appeased the international community, which has become increasingly concerned about the failing struggle against organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption. By firing Tahiri he has shown to take their concern seriously;
- He has strengthened his coalition with LSI leader Ilir Meta. Both Speaker of Parliament Meta and the LSI ministers in Rama’s government were strongly opposed to Tahiri, His dismissal clears away some of the antagonism between the coalition partners;
- He has placed the ball squarely in the court of the opposition. By sacrificing Tahiri, it will now be up to the opposition to strike a more conciliatory tone, either by ending its boycott of Parliament and the voting of the vetting institutions, its boycott of the elections, or (which seems unlikely) both.
Tahiri is expected to give a press conference from the Ministry of Interior Affairs later this afternoon.
Rumors are that Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi will take over Tahiri’s post.