The first round of voting to elect Albania’s new president will take place on May 4, according to Taulant Balla, leader of the Socialist majority’s parliamentary group.
In a press conference on Monday, Balla announced he had forwarded the request to Speaker of Parliament Lindita Nikolla, and will soon begin bipartisan consultations to reach “consensus.”
“On Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m., I invite the chairmen of the parliamentary groups to sit in one of the halls of the Parliament for a first meeting,” said Balla.
Balla also said that a first round of candidates will be announced on Tuesday, and the public may become part of the consultations by emailing their suggestions to his office.
The Albanian Parliament can vote up to five times to elect a new President, and the first three rounds of voting require a three fourth majority (84 votes).
If there is no clear winner after a third vote, the President can be chosen by simple majority (71 votes).
Given that the PS remains in power with a comfortable 74-seat majority in the 140-seat Parliament, it seems likely that their pick will eventually be approved.
Any group of at least 20 MPs may present a candidate to Parliament for the post.
While incumbent President Ilir Meta could run for a second term, his fraught relationship with the PS makes a continuation of his mandate unlikely.