After claiming a landslide victory in the June 23 general election, the opposition Socialist Party and its key ally, the Socialist Movement for Integration, have agreed that SP leader Edi Rama will be the country’s new prime minister while SMI head Ilir Meta will take over as the new speaker of parliament.
The deal was reached on Friday at noon after a private meeting between the two key allies who have apparently secured the left-wing 84 mandates, or a qualified majority of three-fifths in the new legislature, the SP said in a statement.
Edi Rama will replace outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha while Ilir Meta replaces Jozefina Topalli. Both Berisha and Topalli, the two key figures of the Democratic Party had held the same posts for the past eight consecutive years.
The two key allies said they had made a public commitment to divide the MP mandate from the executive post of a cabinet minister, which means an MP will have to give up his MP mandate before becoming a minister.
The opposition Socialist Party won 66 mandates in the June 23 elections while the Socialist Movement for Integration quadrupled its MPs to 16. They were both part of the left-wing Alliance for European Albania coalition composed of 37 parties which defeated outgoing Democratic Party of Prime Minister Berisha by a landslide.
Both parties said they had agreed to set up a joint working group to draft a detailed plan for the first 300 days of governance which will be introduced to the public next September when the new government is formed.
They also agreed to set up a task force on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline to follow the project’s preparatory work and qualify domestic human resources that will be involved in the project’s implementation.
TAP’s selection — as the official pipeline that will carry out Caspian gas to Europe through Greece, Albania and Italy — was officially announced on Friday by BP-led Shah Deniz II consortium, beating rival Nabucco West. The strategic project is expected to have a major contribution to the Albanian economy for the huge investment and number of jobs created.