Today, the Albanian Media Council nominated Armela Krasniqi and Alket Dibra to run for head of the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA).
The two candidates will be forwarded to Parliament for its vote. The Parliament’s pick will become chairman of AMA, which supervises and regulates media and telecommunications in Albania.
The Council considered four people: Armela Krasniqi, Ermela Guxholli, Alekt Dibra, and Elvis Gjergji.
Armela Krasniqi serves as General Director of the Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA). Between 2013 and 2017, she was Director of the Department of Communication and Public Relations in Albania PM’s Office. Over her career, Krasniqi has worked for the Socialist Party under various guises.
There is little publicly available information on Alket Dibra. Ermela Guxholli worked for a period as Deputy Director of the Authority on Financial Oversight (AMF) under Sali Berisha’s government. Elvis Gjergji is a Debt Collector Manager for OSHEE Albania, the government-owned electric utility.
By law, AMA is supposed to be a politically independent authority. Its chairman and its other three board members should have no political affiliation, although two currently do. All candidacies to fill any open positions within AMA require the support of both government and the opposition.
Yet, on May 24, the Albanian Parliament announced that it would elect a new board for AMA over the summer.
The announcement of the vacancies before the formation of the new parliament in September has raised concerns that the board will be filled with those loyal to the ruling Socialist Party (PS).
The Media Council is also considering six candidates to fill the remaining board positions.