TIRANA (Albania), September 17 (SeeNews) - The Albanian parliament said on Friday it has approved the country's new government headed by prime minister Edi Rama, after the Socialist Party won the April 25 general election and secured a third straight term in office.
The new cabinet comprising 11 ministers and four ministers of state was endorsed with 77 votes in favour and 53 against, the parliament said in a press release.
The new council of ministers will focus on the country’s economic recovery following the devastating 2019 earthquake and the Covid-19 crisis, Rama told parliament, according to a video file of his speech published on his Facebook page. The prime minister added that the government programme foresees an average economic growth of 4% and the reduction of public debt to the level of 60% of GDP within the next four years.
According to the list of the new cabinet members approved in parliament, Delina Ibrahimaj is replacing Anila Denaj as minister of finance and economy, while the ministry of energy and infrastructure will continue to be led by Belinda Balluku.
The other new names in the new government are justice minister Ulsi Manja, the minister of agriculture and rural development Frida Krifca, the minister of state in charge of entrepreneurship Edona Bilali and the minister of youth and children Bora Muzhaqi. The other ministers in the new cabinet were members of the previous elected government, also led by Edi Rama.
The centre-left Socialist Party led by Rama secured 74 of 140 seats in parliament in the last regular general election. The main opponent of the Socialists, the Democratic Party (PD) led by Lulzim Basha, garnered 39.43% support (59 seats), followed by the Social Movement for Integration (LSI) with 6.81% of the votes (4 seats) and the Social Democratic Party with 2.25% (3 seats).
In 2020, Albania's GDP declined by about 3.31% year-on-year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data from the country’s office of statistics, INSTAT. The total debt stock fell to 75.67% of GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2021, compared to 77.85% in the end of 2020, the finance ministry data show.