Albania Socialist Majority Begin Procedures to Impeach the President

Ilir Meta President Albania Parliament
Ilir Meta swears in as Albania's President in 2017

Tirana, Albania | 18 June 2019 (Tirana Echo) – Ruling socialists have pressed ahead with procedures at the Legal Affairs Parliamentary Committee to impeach Albania’s President Ilir Meta.

The legal affairs committee has voted overwhelmingly to erect an Ad-Hoc Investigative Committee which is expected to publish its findings in 3 months.

The ruling majority argues President Meta has committed a ‘grave violation’ of the country’s constitution, in deciding to cancel the local election date, previously set for June 30th.

However, 55 socialist MPs have signed a formal request for impeachment procedures in parliament, which could see Mr. Meta fired from the top job within the next 5 months. They argue, that the President can only decree and election date, but the constitution does not grant him the power to cancel elections.

The unprecedented impeachment procedures come after weeks of tense relations between PM Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta, both former socialist allies. Since 2017, Mr. Meta’s former party the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) joined the main opposition Democratic Party (PD), in demanding Rama’s resignation, whom they accuse of corruption and links to organized crime.

Mr. Meta was elected in 2017 thanks to Edi Rama’s socialist votes in parliament.

After parliament has voted on the findings of the investigative committee, the constitutional court has to validate the impeachments procedures. If impeached, Mr. Meta would be the first President to be impeached in Albania.

Earlier in the month, a spokesperson of the Albanian government, Elisa Spiropali said the ruling Socialist Party has decided to launch procedures for the impeachment of the President of Republic, Ilir Meta, following his decision to cancel local elections which were going to be held on June 30.

Her comments followed PM Rama’s statement that after cancelling the election date, Ilir Meta had lost the right to remain president of the country.

This will remain an ugly deed, an act of irresponsibility which cannot be tolerated. Ilir Meta has lost the right to remain at the President’s office as long as the power of the sovereign people rests on Parliament, which has the right and the duty to act on behalf of the sovereign, should the president go mad,” – said PM Rama.

According to the Constitution, the impeachment will have to be supported by the two-thirds majority of MPs.

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