From: Exit Staff
Interior Minister: I Didn’t Resign Due to Pressure, Police Director Shouldn’t Resign

Outgoing Interior Minister Sander Lleshaj said that he didn’t resign due to pressure from the public protests over the murder of 25-year-old Klodian Rasha by a policeman.

On the TV show Real Story last night, he said that if he had been pressured, he would not have resigned. Rather, he said, his decision came due to the impact the murder of Rasha had on him.

“It’s very simple, I resigned calmly and with a lot of determination. There was nothing else. I think I am not a person who gives up things easily, much less under pressure. If there was any pressure, the opposite would have happened,” he declared.

His resignation was announced by Prime Minister Edi Rama prior to the second day of protests in Albania. Lleshaj’s departure had been discussed in September when he said he would leave the role at the end of his mandate.

In terms of the demands for the resignation of Director of Police Ardi Veliu, Lleshaj said they were “unreasonable”.

He said that the position of the general director is not political. In a recent GRECO report, however, the CoE body said that the politicization of senior police officials through their appointment by the ministry was a cause of concern for integrity.

“The requests for the resignation of the police director are unreasonable. He is the head of the state administration. There is responsibility before the law, there is no political responsibility. He is neutral. He is accountable to the state.”

Rama said yesterday that it’s not up to the public or protestors to decide who will be director of the police, the decision lies with the government.