From: Alice Taylor
Albanian President to Decide on Nomination of Prime Minister Whose Party Dismissed Him

The formal letter nominating incumbent Prime Minister Edi Rama to be the prime minister of the new legislative period has arrived at the President of the Republic Ilir Meta’s office.

As per Article 96 of the Constitution, a letter announcing the formal nomination of an individual for the position of Prime Minister must be sent to the President who must approve it. It’s reported that the letter was signed by the head of the Socialist Party Parliamentary Group Taulant Balla.

President Meta will then accept or deny the nomination. This is the process that is followed for all appointments as MP.

In 2019, Meta refused to accept the nomination of Gent Cakaj as Foreign Minister. Meta said Cakaj lacked experience in politics, diplomacy, and state affairs and raised concerns over Cakaj’s alleged support for redrawing the borders between Kosovo and Serbia.

To get around the refusal to decree Cakaj, Rama took on the position of Foreign Minister and then immediately delegated his tasks to Cakaj who took the role of Deputy Foreign Minister.

The matter was sent to the Constitutional Court, which upheld Meta’s argument.

What makes this process particularly awkward is that the Socialist Party dismissed President Meta earlier this year.

The Socialist majority launched procedures to dismiss him immediately after they won a third term in the April 25 elections, following the promise made a few days before by Prime Minister Edi Rama, and after the president clashed with the US ambassador on live television. They hastened to finalize the dismissal before the summer vacations and end of this parliamentary season, thus avoiding the new opposition’s vote against Meta’s dismissal, once the latter enters parliament in September.

This was the second attempt by the Socialists to dismiss President Meta. Previously, they dropped another inquiry against him in 2019 over the appointments of members to the Constitutional Court and the decree annulling the June 30 elections. After one year of inquiry and following a Venice Commission report suggesting that Meta had not committed any serious violation of the Constitution, the Socialists gave up.

The case has now been passed to the Constitutional Court, which will then decide to proceed with dismissing him.

Rama and Meta were once collaborators in politics and formed a ruling coalition when Meta was the head of the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI). But over the years, their relationship appears to have soured as LSI has moved into opposition, siding with the Democratic Party.

Meta is now in a position where he must either accept the nomination of the leader of a party that dismissed him from his role, or refuse, which would plunge the country back into a political crisis.