Competence to appoint a minister? Constitutional Court interprets dispute that saw Rama-Meta clash

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The Constitutional Court has ruled over a dispute that saw a clash between Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta, as the latter refused to decree Gent Cakaj as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Responding to PM Edi Rama’s request, Albania’s top court had its say on “solving the quarrel over the competences between the Prime Minister of the Republic and the President of the Republic” as stipulated by Article 98 of the Constitution.

In its interpretation, the Court says “in the appointment and discharge procedure of a minister, the Prime Minister, President and Assembly are guided by the principle of constitutional loyalty, as well as separation and balance of power”.

The Constitutional Court emphasized that the competence to appoint or discharge a minister is “shared between the Prime Minister, President, and the Assembly” while adding that the process must guarantee that all criteria and constitutional qualities related to this function are fulfilled.

“The assessment and verification of a candidate are made by three bodies involved in the process, each according to their constitutional role and competences, within constitutional deadline and in compliance with the reasoning of this decision”, the court argued.

In 2019, PM Rama discharged then-foreign affairs minister Ditmir Bushati and proposed the appointment of Gent Cakaj

President Meta refused to decree him, arguing that Cakaj is not “fit” for the post.

After the clash, Rama proposed himself as the new foreign affairs minister, and afterward delegated the office to Gent Cakaj.

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