Rama Appoints Albania’s First Mainly Female Cabinet

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has announced his new cabinet following the April 25 elections, creating a new record in the country by giving women 12 of the 16 posts in his team.

Eight of the new government's 12 ministries will be headed by women and only four by men. All four ministers without a portfolio will also be women. Four of the 16 ministers are political novices while the rest have had political careers.

Arben Ahmetaj, a former Minister of Finance, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. Olta Xhacka, Niko Peleshi, Blendi Cuci Belinda Balluku, Ogerta Manastirliu, Evis Kushi and Elva Margariti have been appointed to the Foreign, Defence, Interior, Infrastructure, Health and Education and Culture ministries.

Delina Ibrahimi, a former director of the Tax Directorate, was given the Finance portfolio while Frida Krifca, a former head of the Agency for Agriculture and Rural Development, the main body that provides subsidies for agriculture, was made Minister of Agriculture.

Ulsi Manja, a former head of the Parliamentary Commission for Laws, was appointed Minister of Justice. The four ministers without portfolio will be Elisa Spiropali, as Minister for Relations with Parliament, Edona Bilali, as Minister for the Protection of Entrepreneurship, Milva Ekonomi, as Minister for Standards and Services, and Bora Muzhaqi, as Minister for Youth and Children.

In his speech, Rama defended his electoral victory as legitimate and condemned unnamed critics who, according to him, had tried to throw mud over his success.

Rama, 57, won the April elections amid allegations that he owed his success to enormous political machinery that feeds on state resources and uses voter intimidation.

Rama acknowledged that assigning public...

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