President Meta Ready to Resign to Help Solve Crisis

President Ilir Meta said he is willing to resign if that helped to overcome the political and constitutional crisis in the country, and restore legitimacy to the Albanian parliament.

“I’m the first one to be ready to resign and sacrifice [myself] for a political solution that will reinstate the normal constitutional, institutional, political and democratic order in the country; [a solution] that guarantees a fast track towards the opening of negotiations with the EU. I am ready regarding both extremes: resigning from my presidential post, once I am assured that there will be a solid political solution, based on principles and the constitution, which will take the country forward; or sacrificing my life, like Salvador Allende, in order to stop the installation of a junta that could take Albania 30 years back.”

The Albanian opposition has resigned from its parliamentary mandates and has been holding protests for one month. They are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama, whom they accuse of being corrupt and linked to organized crime, and for early general elections to be held.

Today President Ilir Meta, former leader of LSI party now in opposition, condemned opposition’s resignation from parliamentary mandates. He added that replacing the empty seats with MPs that do not represent the will of people was questionable from a “legal, political, moral and constitutional viewpoint”.

Several “new opposition” MPs have already taken up mandates in parliament. President Meta implied that their mandates are illegitimate:

“In my assessment, the Parliament of Albania has 82 legitimate members, including the 3 opposition MPs who refused to resign.”

According to the Constitution, the parliament must have 140 members. The constitutionality of the current parliament cannot be ruled as there is no functioning Constitutional Court. Eight of its nine members either resigned or were dismissed by the vetting commission as part of the ongoing justice reform.

Albania is expected to hold local elections in June, 2019. The opposition has indicated it will not participate unless PM Rama resigns and a transitional government is installed. Rama has refused to resign.

President Meta called on both sides to engage in a political dialogue that could restore the legitimacy of parliament.