July 28, 2021

Albanian Parliament votes to dismiss President Ilir Meta

The Albanian Parliament voted on Wednesday, June 9 the dismissal of the country’s president, Ilir Meta, accused by a commission of inquiry of having violated the Constitution by participating in the electoral campaign for the legislative elections in April, while he is supposed to be neutral.

This decision is not final, however, and Mr. Meta, 52, will exercise his functions pending the opinion of the Constitutional Court, which must rule within three months.

Ilir Meta, who has exercised the mainly honorary functions of Head of State since 2017, had during the electoral campaign exchanged spades with the Prime Minister, Edi Rama, whose Socialist Party won the legislative elections of April. He had accused him of authoritarianism and corruption, attacks rejected by the prime minister.

An “unconstitutional and ridiculous decision”

After the ballot, a parliamentary commission was set up to investigate the president’s behavior during the campaign. According to the latter’s report, presented on Wednesday, President Meta “Violated 16 articles of the Constitution” on “Openly engaging in the legislative elections of April 25 in favor of the opposition”, and “For this reason he must be dismissed from his post”. His impeachment was approved by 104 deputies out of 121.

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The president’s cabinet immediately called the vote “Unconstitutional and ridiculous decision”, “A last step in electoral crime” during the ballot, the results of which are still contested by the opposition. Ilir Meta had already indicated that he intended to remain in his post until the last day of the mandate, namely July 24, 2022.

“Ilir Meta betrayed the mission of President of the Republic, he humiliated the Constitution, collapsed the institution of guarantor of national unity and he lost the right to remain in his post”Prime Minister Edi Rama said Wednesday before the vote. Former Prime Minister and member of the Socialist Party, Ilir Meta left this formation to form in 2004 the Socialist Integration Movement. He had then become the enemy of Edi Rama.

The World with AFP