Rama’s Appointment as Foreign Minister Again Hinges on Constitutional Interpretation

The appointment of Prime Minister Edi Rama as Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs by President Ilir Meta again hinges on an interpretation of the Constitution that cannot be tested in Constitutional Court – which is absent.

On January 14, Prime Minister Rama nominated himself as Foreign Minister, after President Meta had rejected his previous nominee, Gent Cakaj.

During an interview yesterday with journalist Ylli Rakipi, President Meta addressed the main obstacle to the nomination of Rama as Foreign Minister, namely art. 103(2) of the Constitution:

“A minister may not exercise any other state function nor be a director or member of the bodies of profit-making companies.”

As Prime Minister qualifies as “state function,” this would presumably ban Rama from becoming a minister as well.

President Meta stated that he wanted to act in the “spirit” of the Constitution:

“According to article 103 it is impossible that this [the decree to make Rama Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs] happens, but I will read the Constitution and the entire spirit of the Constitution.”

He further elaborated:

“Here we have the case that the Prime Minister has requested also to be made Minister of Foreign Affairs. […] We have to keep in mind that the Constitution cannot specify everything, that’s why we have the Constitution, laws, and in the end the Constitutional Court, which evaluates whether an act is done in accordance with Constitution or not. The President has the right to make an initial interpretation of the Constitution in such cases.”

President Meta is expected to make a decision today.