Prime Minister Edi Rama has launched a frontal attack to the former Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Damian Gjiknuri. After dismissing and replacing him with Belinda Balluku, Edi Rama is giving several blows to Damian Gjiknuri, who apparently will be the first subject of the National Bureau of Investigation and Special Prosecution. Initially, Rama is distancing himself from all of Gjiknuri’s affairs, although the latter could not have made his decisions without Rama’s shot in the arm.
The Prime Minister is cancelling the illegal HPPs signed by Gjiknuri. The last cancellation was that of the Holta HPP in Gramsh, signed by Gjiknuri in an area that was declared a natural monument. This signature of this natural crime is just enough for Gjiknuri to be taken as a defendant by SPAK.
A few days ago, Rama ordered the dismissal of Gjiknuri’s right-hand man, the director of roads Afrim Qëndro, with whom the former minister was involved in the scandal of the New Ring Road with the ghost company, regarding the tenderworth €18 million. This was another sign of Rama distancing himself from Gjiknuri and his activity. Even during these days, Rama gave another blow to Gjiknuri, by canceling the concession for the construction of Thumana-Kashar road, a concession in the hands of Bashkim Ulaj. This concession was worth €225million, for a very short distance. This was considered one of the biggest thefts. The cancellation was not only a blow to Gjiknuri, but also to Bashkim Ulaj.
The cause of the great crackup between Rama and Gjiknuri is reportedly the oligarch Bashkim Ulaj, formerly Berisha’s client, and now Rama’s. Gjiknuri and Ulaj seem to have thrown Rama out of the game regarding the deals on concessions and road tenders, where there is more money. In this game the director of the roads that prepared the tender papers was also involved. Such a scheme was implemented with one of the segments of the New Ring Road, where a ghost company, supposedly owned by Bashkim Ulaj, won the tender worth€18million, from which about €10 million would be shared. This company had also won tenders from the Transmission System Operator, again under Gjiknuri’s rule. Lately, even the Transmission System Operator director was dismissed. All of these comprise a message to the justice. Rama is trying to get rid of all this soap opera of corruption, and it is not known what maneuver will be played by Gjiknuri.