Albanian parliament to vote on president’s impeachment

Albania's parliament is holding an extraordinary session to vote on the impeachment of the country’s president

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 09 June 2021 10:09
Albania President
Albania President

The Albanian parliament on Wednesday started an extraordinary session to vote on the impeachment of the country’s president after a parliamentary investigation concluded that he should be removed from office for violating the constitution.

A 98-page report by parliament's investigative committee said President Ilir Meta violated 16 articles of the constitution before Albania’s April 25 general election and should be removed from office a year earlier than his term ends.

Meta has denounced the investigation and impeachment attempt, arguing they are illegal.

In late April, 49 governing Socialist lawmakers asked for the investigative committee. They accuse Meta, a former Socialist prime minister who left the party many years ago, of inciting instability and violence in the Balkan nation and siding with the political opposition ahead of the election. They say Meta should be impeached for failing in his constitutional duty to guarantee national unity.

The governing Socialist Party ended up winning a landslide of 74 of parliament’s 140 seats in the April 25 election, winning their third four-term.

A two-thirds majority, or 93 votes, is required to impeach Meta, and the Socialists don’t have the numbers in parliament to meet that threshold. But if others join and lawmakers vote to remove him from office, the final approval would need to come from Albania’s Constitutional Court within three months.

“President of the Republic’s acts, behavior and approach ... run counter to his constitutional role and position,” said the report. It said Meta should be “removed from the post of the President of the Republic for grave violation (of the constitution).”

Albania’s presidency is largely ceremonial but carries some authority over the judiciary and the armed forces. The role is also generally understood to be apolitical, but Meta has regularly clashed with Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Socialist government.

Since assuming the office of president in 2017 with the support of the ruling Socialists, Meta has opposed their agenda, blocking the nominations of ministers and vetoing legislation.

Meta has accused Rama of running a “kleptocratic regime” and concentrating all legislative, administrative and judiciary powers in his hands.

Meta argues that the outgoing assembly is in a post-election transition period and therefore is ineligible to conduct such investigation activities. The parliament elected in April is not formally seated until September.

___

Follow Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in