From: Exit Staff
Central Election Commission Dismisses Socialist Mayor for Hiding Criminal Past

The Central Election Commission (KQZ) dismissed Vora Mayor Agim Kajmaku today, after the prosecutor office confirmed opposition claims that he had omitted an arrest from his decriminalization form.

In 2003, under his alias Jorgo Toto, Kajmaku was arrested in Greece in flagrante delicto for the use and distribution of fake money. The Greek law specifies a prison sentence of at least 10 years for such crime. He was released in expectation of his trial.

Kajmaku fled back to Albania before the Greek prosecution released a warrant for his immediate arrest, considering the gravity of his crime. He could not be convicted, as the Greek law does not allow for convictions in absentia for serious crimes.

Agim Kajmaku alias Jorgo Toto failed to mention the arrest on his decriminalization form before the June 30 local elections.

Following accusations, the Socialist Party consistently protected the mayor, with Prime Minister Edi Rama insisting on his clean past by stating that Kajmaku “is a man who never had to pay a fine in his life”. Kajmaku also continuously insisted that he is innocent, refusing to confirm his alias.

Several months after repeated opposition accusations, the case against Toto (Kajmaku) was reviewed by a Greek court following Kajmaku lawyers’ request. According to a letter the mayor sent to the General Prosecutor, the court had exonerated Toto (i.e. Kajmaku) on September 2019 regarding charges from 2003.

Nevertheless, according to the law, lying or omitting information from the decriminalization form results in dismissal from office and a prison sentence of between four and six months.

Kajmaku is the second Socialist Party mayor to lose his seat after the last controversial local elections held in disregard of the presidential decree to postpone them. Shkodra mayor-elect Valdrin Pjetri resigned earlier following opposition accusations that he hidden an Italian drug trafficking conviction on his decriminalization form. The opposition has also accused a third Socialist mayor for hiding his alleged criminal past.

The prosecution office is yet to press charges against Agim Kajmaku and Valdrin Pjetri for hiding their criminal past.

In his reaction after Kajmaku’s dismissal, Rama denied any responsibility and stated that the Socialist Party did not control the election commission.

“The KQZ has shown once again today that it is an Albanian state institution which defends the law and public interest, and not a party toll as it used to be until yesterday. Also, the Socialist Party has reconfirmed today that it won’t be a shelter for anyone who takes it upon himself to violate the law and our trust.”

Opposition leader Lulzim Basha stated that the latest confirmation of opposition accusations further corroborates the Rama government’s collusion with crime since 2013 until today. He said Rama “holds to power through crime and governs with the crime”.

Basha argued the only solution is to “give back to people their government and parliament through snap general elections”.