Speaker of Parliament and party chairmen of Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), Ilir Meta, is expected to become the newly elected President of Republic. After the formal nomination, Parliament will hold today at 17:00 the fourth round of the presidential elections, after the first three failed without a candidate.
Until now, Ilir Meta’s candidacy has received the support of the parliamentary groups of LSI, PS, and PDIU, whereas Ben Blushi of Libra stated that he will not vote in favor of Meta. In the fourth round the president is elected with 71 votes, numbers which seem to be already secured by Meta.
Who is Ilir Meta
Ilir Meta is one of the most longest surviving politicians in Albanian political life.
He has been member of Parliament since March 22, 1992, the first pluralist parliament. Ilir Meta has been elected deputy in all the legislatures, being always active in the political scene.
Ilir Meta is know as one of the founders of the Forum of Euro-Socialist Youth (FRESSH), in which he served three years as vice-chairman (1992-1995) and as chairman until 2001.
During these years Meta held other leading roles within the Socialist Party of Tirana.
His political activity includes a period of leading the government, serving as Prime Minister in the period November 1999–September 2001. After the victory of 2001 parliamentary elections, he received a new mandate as Prime Minister. In February 2002, Ilir Meta resigned from office.
Later, in July 2003, after long debates with the Prime Minister of the time, Fatos Nano, Ilir Meta left the Socialist Party and together with a group of supporters formed the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI).
During the 2005 elections, LSI won 8.4 percent of votes and got 5 deputies in parliament, significantly affecting the elections and thus becoming the reason for the PS ending up in the opposition.
Then in the 2009 elections, LSI secured 4 deputies and became part of the governing coalition together with the Democratic Party. Ilir Meta was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
From September 2010 to January 2011, Ilir Meta served as Minister of Economy, Commerce, and Energy.
Following the release of a video by former deputy Dritan Prifti, in which Ilir Meta appears to be discussing a bribe of €700,000, he was forced to resign.
A year later, January 2012, he was declared innocent by a decisive court decision of the High Court, as allegations of corruption were not substantiated.
In April 2013, Ilir Meta left the governing coalition with the PD and signed a pre-election coalition with PS. During the 2013 elections, LSI won 16 mandates and Ilir Meta was declared Speaker of Parliament.
A few hours before the today’s vote, Ilir Meta has been officially certified be clean and without any legal obstructions by the Central Election Commission and State Authority dealing with the dossiers from the communist period.
If Ilir Meta is elected today as President, he will officially take over the office on July 24, 2017, when the term of current President Bujar Nishani ends.