Ruçi Breaks the Rules, Again

Several media outlets reported yesterday that Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruçi has sent the redrafted Special Law on the National Theater back to President Ilir Meta with the demand to sign it. This appears to be a violation of the Constitution, as the President has the right to reject a law proposed by Parliament.

The original Special Law had been rejected by President Meta on grounds of its unconstitutionality. Also the European Commission objected against aspects of the law. In response, a parliamentary commission led by PS deputy Eduard Shalsi proposed that the law be rewritten, while approving the decree of the President to reject the previous law:

After the discussions the Commission, with a majority of votes of all present members, decided to recommend the plenary session to approve the decree of the President.

By approving the decree, the former Special Law became obsolete, while the amended, new law should again be sent to President Meta for review under a new number, again with his Constitutional right to reject the law. A rejection would seem very likely, as the amendments do not address President Meta’s concerns about its unconstitutionality.

However, Speaker of Parliament Ruçi now has devised a “trick,” by sending the Special Law back to President Meta under the same number, thus claiming it to be the same law, and thus refusing him the right to once again review it. In usual circumstances, this would be a case to be brought forward to the Constitutional Court, which, however, is no longer operational. It thus remains to be seen how President and Parliament will respond to this new irregularity.

It is not the first time that Ruçi, who used to be a minister under the communist dictatorship, has violated the Albanian law in his role as Speaker of Parliament. But this time, there is no court that can hold him in check.