Albanian PM Edi Rama said he would replace four of his ministers by Monday

Four ministers of the Albanian cabinet have been dismissed from their posts, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Sunday confirmed the news in his weekly communication.

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TIRANA, Albania – The four were Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri, Minister of Health Ilir Beqja, Minister of Local Government Issues Bledi Cuci and Minister of Welfare Blendi Klosi.

Rama said that the names of the new ministers would be revealed on Monday.

Such cabinet reshuffle comes at a time when the opposition is on its 22nd day of protests in front of the prime minister’s office.

The Albanian opposition, chaired by the Democratic Party (DP), has requested the resignation of the Prime Minister Edi Rama and the creation of a caretaker government which according to DP would be the only way to guarantee free and fair elections on June 18, 2017.

Both minister Tahiri and minister Beqja have been the main target of Albanian opposition’s accusations.

In the last three years, Tahiri has been the most attacked minister, facing allegations over police involvement with drug trafficking and massive cannabis cultivation across the country.

Beqja has been often accused of corruptive affairs in the procurements in the health sector, although none of the accusations has been proven true.

However, opposition parties saw such changes as a tactical move by Rama to defuse political tensions.

Democratic chairman Lulzim Basha said Sunday that the news that Rama had sacked Tahiri was merely a poor attempt to escape from responsibilities which Rama himself should bear.

Rama, however, said that their dismissals had nothing to do with the opposition’s protest but rather it was something related to the preparations for the next elections as the ministers are also the heads of the Socialist Party in several districts.

The political crisis that has currently engulfed Albania also blocked the process of the “scanning” of judges and prosecutors, crucial for the start of implementation of justice reform.

This reform is seen as the key step that Albania should take in order to move forward with its European Union accession agenda.