Albanian socialists seek to oust the country’s president
Lawmakers from the ruling left-wing Socialist Party in Albania have started impeachment proceedings against the country’s president, who they accuse of violating the constitution in the last election, one of their leaders said on Monday.
Taulant Balla, leader of the Socialist parliamentary group, said 50 Socialist lawmakers called on parliament to open an investigation after determining that President Ilir Meta “before and during the election campaign had committed actions contrary to the country’s constitution “.
During the April 25 election campaign, Meta accused the left-wing government of Prime Minister Edi Rama of running a “kleptocratic regime” and of spoiling its response to the pandemic. Meta accused Rama of concentrating all legislative, administrative and judicial powers in his hands.
The Socialists won a landslide victory in the vote, securing 74 seats out of the 140 seats in parliament, enough to form a cabinet on their own.
Balla said the existing parliament had enough time until September 9, when its term ends, to form “a commission of inquiry and end (the impeachment process)”.
But it was not clear whether the Socialists would be able to secure a two-thirds majority for an impeachment request to be granted. After the vote in parliament, the final verdict comes from the Constitutional Court.
Meta’s press service did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but wrote on its Facebook page, “Don’t worry about the ‘stun grenades’ but the election crime investigation!”
The opposition also claimed that the vote had been manipulated.
The post of Meta is largely ceremonial, with some powers over the judiciary and the armed forces. His role is also generally seen as apolitical, but he often clashed with Rama’s government.
Meta began his political career with the Socialist Party, but then left it to form the smaller Left Socialist Movement for Integration, or LSI. In 2017, when he was elected president for a five-year term, he left the management of LSI to his wife.
Meta has said he will join the LSI next year at the end of his presidential term.
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