Socialist MPs launch procedure to dismiss Albanian president

By bne IntelliNews June 18, 2019

Lawmakers from Albania's governing Socialist Party launched a procedure in the parliament to dismiss President Ilir Meta for violating the constitution by canceling the upcoming local election. 

Earlier this month Albania’s MPs adopted a resolution against the recent decree of President Meta who canceled the local election due to take place on June 30 fearing tensions during the vote. He took the move amid increasing opposition protests, saying that conditions did not exist for a fair and democratic vote. The country’s two main opposition parties — the Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) — previously said they will not take part in the local vote.

The head of the Socialist Party in the parliament Taulant Balla said that 55 MPs from his party filed the request for a no-confidence motion against Meta, Albanian Daily News reported on June 17.

A special parliamentary commission will revise the request before a parliament vote.

In the meantime, Albania’s Constitutional Court is out of function for about a year as most of the court's judges have been dismissed following the vetting process aimed at clearing courts of corrupted officials, as part of the EU-required justice reform.

The Socialists have 75 seats in the 140-seat parliament, having won an outright majority in the June 2017 general election, but 95 votes are required to impeach the president. 

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that local election will go ahead as planned.

The move came at delicate time for Albania, when the country is waiting from for the EU to obtain a date to launch accession talks with the bloc. EU leaders said on June 18 they would delay a decision until the autumn. 

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