Albania Opposition Pans Nomination of New Spy Chief

Albania’s opposition parties have accused the newly elected president Bujar Nishani of bowing to Prime Minister Sali Berisha with the nomination of the new head of the State Security Agency.In a Twitter post, the opposition leader Edi Rama said that the nomination would have a negative effect on Albania’s political life.

“On behalf of the Prime Minister the president replaced the secret service head with one of Berisha’s servants, like the presidents is himself,” Rama said.The Albanian president fired on Thursday the head of the State Security Agency, SHISH, replacing him with the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Visho Ajazi Lika.

Ajazi Lika, is a mathematician with a PHD from the University of Tirana and he served as diplomat in the Democratic Party run government from 1993-1997. At the time, under diplomatic cover, Ajazi Lika allegedly ran the counter-intelligence directorate of the spy agency.

After 1997, he emigrated to Canada and returned in 2005, initially as an adviser to Berisha, and later as deputy minister.

The nationalist Red and Black Alliance said in a statement that Berisha was turning back the clock to the early Nineties, when as the then President he used the secret service to suppress the opposition.

“Berisha is showing to Albanians that he has not changed in the past 22 years. Everything is the same, although a bit more sophisticated. He is bringing under his control all important institutions,” the Alliance said.

The newly formed New Democratic Spirit Party, FRD, was on the same wavelength, accusing the Prime Minister of bring under his control all Albania’s independent institutions.

“Albania is moving away from the EU and NATO standards toward a Lukashenko [Belarus’ strongman] model,” the FRD added.

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