Albanian Constitutional Court rules on president’s impeachment
Albania’s Constitutional Court convened on Tuesday to rule on parliament’s dismissal of President Ilir Meta for violating the constitution and its decision to remove him from office.
The court’s verdict is the final step in the process that will determine whether Meta will be ousted or allowed to remain in office until his term ends in July.
It was not immediately clear when the court would issue its decision, a process that could take a month.
In June last year, parliament voted 104 to 7 to impeach the president after a parliamentary inquiry found that Meta had violated 16 constitutional articles and incited violence with what he called bias against the ruling socialists during the campaign for the general elections on 25 April.
Meta denounced the investigation and impeachment, arguing that they are illegal.
The impeachment process was launched by 49 ruling socialist lawmakers who accused Meta, a former socialist prime minister who left the party many years ago, of inciting instability and violence in the Balkan nation and to side with the political opposition ahead of the elections.
The Socialist Party ended up winning 74 of the 140 seats in parliament for a third four-year term.
The Albanian presidency is largely ceremonial but exercises some authority over the judiciary and the armed forces. The role is also generally seen as apolitical, but Meta has clashed regularly with the government.
Since taking office as president in 2017 with support from the ruling Socialists, Meta has opposed their agenda, blocking ministerial appointments and vetoing legislation.
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