The Albanian Parliament dismisses President Ilir Meta

The Albanian parliament voted to fire President Ilir Meta for “serious violations” of the Constitution during the April election campaign.

After a session that lasted more than four hours, 104 deputies out of 114 present in a total of 140, voted in favor of dismissing Meta, 7 deputies voted against and 3 abstained. This is the first time in the history of Albania that the President is dismissed by the Parliament.

The Constitutional Court will have the final say in the matter by approving or rejecting the dismissal and the evidence for today’s decision.

During the April election campaign, Meta accused the government of being involved in preparations to rig the election, co-operate with criminal gangs to buy votes, and called on people to defend their vote.

The Socialist majority began proceedings to oust him shortly after they won a third term in the April 25 election, following a promise made a few days ago by Prime Minister Edi Rama and after the president clashed with the US ambassador on television live. They rushed to finalize the dismissal before the summer calls and at the end of this parliamentary season, thus avoiding the new opposition vote against Meta’s dismissal once the latter enters parliament in September.

The majority demanded the removal of Meta because of “serious violations” of the Constitutions, which is one of two possible conditions for dismissing the Albanian President – the other committing a “serious crime”. They claimed he had violated the unity of the people by attacking the Socialist Party and the government during the election campaign, inciting violence and attacking foreign diplomats.

This was the second attempt by the Socialists to oust President Meta. Earlier, they dropped another investigation against him in 2019 over the appointments of members to the Constitutional Court and the decree annulling the June 30th elections. After a year of investigation and a report by the Venice Commission suggesting that Meta had not committed any serious violations of the Constitution, the Socialists gave up.

In his speech to parliament before the vote, Rama attacked Meta for allegedly “betraying his mission”, “humiliating the Constitution”, “destroying the unity of the people”, “violating the separation of powers” and “shaming the Albanian special relations”. of people with the US ”.

The Constitutional Court must take the decision of the Parliament to dismiss Meta within 5 days. It remains unclear whether they will prioritize consideration of this issue, or whether the issue joins the ranks of over 180 issues awaiting consideration.

The court was dysfunctional for almost two years due to the dismissal of judges from justice reform. It became newly functional 6 months ago when it reached a quorum of 5 of its 9 members. There are now 6 members in total, 3 of whom were nominated by President Meta, and 3 by the Parliament controlled by Edi Rama’s Socialist Party. The remaining 3 judges must be nominated by the Supreme Court, which was also damaged by the reform.

For the dismissal to be official, 5 of the 6 members of the Constitutional Court must support Meta’s dismissal, including at least 2 judges proposed by him./ ibna

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