Albania’s Majority Starts Impeachment of President But It Cannot Succeed

Albania’s ruling Socialist Party (PS) started the procedure to dismiss the country’s president.

In a press conference today, head of the PS parliamentary group Taulant Balla announced that a request by 55 PS MPs had been submitted to the parliament, demanding the dismissal of the president. Balla said that such a move came after last week’s call on the president to reflect, which he failed to do.

Balla stated that by cancelling the local elections date, President Ilir Meta violated:

– the principle of people’s right to exercise their sovereignty through elections;

– the Constitution;

– the periodicity of local elections, which should be held every 4 years, and June 30 was the latest possible date.

Based on these violations, the ruling majority kicked off the procedure to sack President Ilir Meta, Balla said, adding that the final decision will be taken by the Constitutional Court.

The Parliament’s decision to dismiss the President must be approved by the Constitutional Court, which Albania currently lacks. Of the nine members of this court, three should come from the High Court, which Albania also lacks. Three other members are elected by the President, and the remaining three by the Parliament.

Supposing that the SP has the strong will to dismiss President Ilir Meta, it surely cannot do so before the end of the current annual legislative session of the parliament, which ends in July.

In order for the dismissal to take place, the Parliament and President would need to elect their Constitutional Court members (6 in total) within July. This would also require the strong will of the President to lead to his dismissal by urgently electing the three Constitutional Court judges, who would then immediately vote to dismiss him. It is highly improbable that President Ilir Meta could be in such a hurry.

Hence, it seems not reasonable to think that today’s move by the PS aims at removing President Meta.