Albanian Constitutional Court judges president’s impeachment

Jan 31, 2022, 1:52 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2022, 3:53 am
FILE - Albanian President Ilir Meta speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Tirana,...

FILE - Albanian President Ilir Meta speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Tirana, Albania, on April 21, 2021. Albania’s Constitutional Court met Tuesday to pass judgment on Parliament’s impeachment of President Ilir Meta for violating the constitution and its decision to discharge him from the post. The Court’s verdict is the last step in the process whether the president will stay or continue until his term ends in July. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File)

(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Constitutional Court met Tuesday to pass judgment on Parliament’s impeachment of President Ilir Meta for violating the constitution and its decision to discharge him from the post.

The court’s verdict is the final step in the process that will establish whether Meta will be ousted or allowed to remain in office until his term ends in July.

It was not immediately clear when the court would issue its ruling, a process that could take a month.

In June last year the parliament voted 104-7 to discharge the president after a parliamentary investigation concluded that Meta had violated 16 constitutional articles and incited violence with what it labeled his bias against the ruling Socialists during campaigning for the April 25 parliamentary election.

Meta has denounced the investigation and impeachment, arguing they are illegal.

The impeachment process was launched by 49 governing Socialist lawmakers who accused Meta, a former Socialist prime minister who left the party many years ago, of inciting instability and violence in the Balkan nation and siding with the political opposition ahead of the election.

The Socialist Party ended up winning 74 of parliament’s 140 seats to earn a third four-year term.

Albania’s presidency is largely ceremonial but carries some authority over the judiciary and the armed forces. The role is also generally understood to be apolitical, but Meta has regularly clashed with the government.

Since assuming the office of president in 2017 with the support of the ruling Socialists, Meta has opposed their agenda, blocking the nominations of ministers and vetoing legislation.

___

Follow Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini

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Albanian Constitutional Court judges president’s impeachment