President Ilir Meta’s actions in appointing members of the Constitutional Court comply with the Constitution, and there is no basis for his impeachment, according to a draft opinion by the Venice Commission that has partially leaked to the media.
The draft also questions the actions of the Justice Appointment Council (KED) chaired by Ardian Dvorani, who has been one of the main targets of President Meta’s allegations for a government-controlled coup d’etat.
“According to the analysis provided above, the President’s actions are generally compatible with a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution. In light of the interpretation (A) of Article 179 (2) of the Constitution set out above, the actions taken by the President (and his Office) in response to the modus operandi by JAC [Justice Appointment Council – KED] seem reasonable. Thus, there is no basis for an impeachment of the President,” the draft opinion reads.
The Venice Commission’s final opinion is expected to be published on March 20th.
On December 30, the Parliament asked the Venice Commission for an opinion on the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court by President Meta, namely the appointment of Marsida Xhaferllari instead of Arta Vorpsi, whom KED Chair Ardian Dvorani and the Socialist Party claimed was automatically appointed after President Meta silence.
The Parliament’s request was made after several MPs requested that a parliamentary committee impeaching President Meta include two more of his related decrees in the investigation.
In January, Meta requested that the Venice Commission give an opinion on the process of election of Constitutional Court members in Albania.
In February, representatives of Commission met with President Meta and Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruçi to discuss the controversial legal changes made by the Socialist majority to replace the President with a notary when new Constitutional Court judges swear in.