European Western Balkans

Albanian Parliament votes to dismiss President Meta, Constitutional Court to have the final say

Ilir Meta; Photo: Albanian Parliament

TIRANA – The Parliament of Albania has dismissed President Ilir Meta for “serious violations” of the Constitution during the April electoral campaign, Exit reports. The Constitutional Court will have the last say on the issue by declaring the President’s dismissal should it found him guilty.

105 MPs in the 140-seat parliament voted for Meta’s dismissal, 7 MPs voted against, and 3 abstained. While the elections in the country took place on 25 April, the new parliament will not be inaugurated until September. Opposition MPs from the Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration abandoned their mandates in 2019.

This is the first time in Albania’s history that a President is dismissed by Parliament, but also the second time that the Socialist Party has tried to dismiss Meta, having abandoned its first attempt last year.

Meta was elected for a five-year term in 2017 with the votes of his coalition partner at the time, the Socialist Party, but their political relationship has deteriorated in recent years.

Upon becoming President, Meta relinquished his position as the leader of the Socialist Movement for Integration, which achieved a disappointing result in the 2021 elections, losing more than half of the number of seats it had won in 2017. Meta announced his return to the party once his term ends.

The parliamentary committee tasked to investigate the President’s activities during the parliamentary elections determined that Meta had committed  “serious violations”, reports Euronews Albania.

The 96-page report notes that the “President violated 17 articles of the Constitution” and that “these violations are considered serious offenses by the inquiry commission”.

The spokesperson of the president reacted right after the votes were counted describing the decision as “unconstitutional”.

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