In Albania, President Ilir Meta has been dismissed
Albanian lawmakers voted to impeach their country’s head of state, President Ilir Meta, for allegedly violating the constitution ahead of Albania’s April elections, Euronews reported.
The deputies voted for the decision by an almost absolute majority – 104 voted “for” and only 7 were “against”.
The vote follows a report by a commission of inquiry that concluded last week that Meta had violated 16 articles of the constitution ahead of Albania’s April 25th parliamentary elections.
The report recommends that the president be removed from office a year before the end of his term.
Meta was accused of violating the constitution by failing to fulfill his obligation to guarantee national unity by supporting the opposition in the country’s recent elections.
Following the election, nearly 50 lawmakers from the ruling Socialist Party, which won 74 of the 140 seats in parliament, called on a commission of inquiry to decide whether Meta had violated the constitution and whether he should be removed from office.
A two-thirds majority is required to impeach the president, and with 74 seats, the Socialists could not have the 94 votes needed to meet that requirement.
Now that lawmakers have voted to remove Meta from office, Albania’s Constitutional Court must give final approval within the next three months.
A majority vote of the constitutional judges will be required. At least six members must attend the plenary session and a majority – or at least five members – must vote in favor of impeachment.
It is unclear whether Meta will try to fight the decision, but the Albanian president has described the trial against him as “illegal”.
He has never attended meetings held by a commission of inquiry tasked with investigating allegations against him, with the Albanian head of state insisting he does not recognize the group’s powers.
The president argued that because the parliament elected in April had not yet been convened when the Socialists called for an investigation into his behavior, the outgoing assembly did not have the power to continue the investigation during the transition period.
“Initiatives in such forms are unacceptable to democratic societies,” Meta wrote at the time.
The presidential institution in Albania is mainly ceremonial, but the president has some powers over the judiciary and the armed forces.
She is generally considered an apolitical role, but Meta is an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government, including his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Albanian President Ilir Meta has accused the United States of inadmissible interference in the country’s internal affairs, Deutsche Welle reported. In a television interview, he said Washington was trying to ensure that incumbent Prime Minister Edi Rama formed the next government.
Albania and the United States have engaged in diplomatic strife after the country’s president accused the Washington ambassador of meddling in the April parliamentary elections. Meta said on live television that Ambassador Yuri Kim was overly supportive of publicly acting Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Rama and Meta have long been fierce political rivals.
The US ambassador later called Meta’s remarks unacceptable.
“These threats deserve condemnation. Those who incite violence will be held accountable for the results of their words and actions,” Kim wrote on Twitter.
During the TV show, Meta also claimed that Kim told him during a phone call, “We know some things about you.” “I told Washington that if they had a problem with me, please let me know because I know they could even kill me,” he said, suggesting the ambassador’s action was part of a secret Serbian lobbying campaign.
to agree to start full negotiations for the admission of the small Balkan state as a member. Western diplomats have called on all political parties to soften their rhetoric following Wednesday’s shooting in the capital, Tirana, involving party activists. One person was killed and four others were injured in the incident. The US embassy called on the country’s main political leaders to show restraint and clearly reject pre-election violence.