The embattled President sounded a defiant note after the Socialist-dominated parliament voted on Wednesday to dismiss him owing to his conduct before and during the April 25 elections, alleging he had violated the constitution.
By Fjori SINORUKA*
Albanian MPs on Wednesday voted to oust the country’s president, Ilir Meta, though the final decision on the issue must go to the Constitutional Court, which will conclude if Meta will be removed from office before his term ends in until 2022.
Some 104 lawmakers in the ruling Socialist-dominated chamber voted for dismissal while seven voted against. Three abstained.
But minutes after the voting ended, the spokesperson of the President, Tedi Blushi, reacted on Facebook saying that his boss “not worried by this unconstitutional action” and that “Ilir Meta is more motivated than ever to protect the sovereignty and integrity of Albania from any attempt of traitors, collaborators and their tutors, who have been working for years against our country, Albanians and the national interest”.
Only days after the last elections, when Edi Rama’s Socialist Party won an unprecedented third term, the old parliament moved to oust the President, claiming he was guilty of violating the constitution with his actions and words before and during the elections. An inquiry commission investigated the claims and concluded that Meta had violated 16 articles of the constitution.
According to the report, the main object of the investigation was the statements of the President before and during the elections.
Rama’s Socialists accused Meta of breaking the electoral silence, disturbing the public peace, inciting hatred and violence, endangering lives, interfering with and intimidating public institutions, damaging the image and reputation of the country and its relations with strategic partners.
Refusing to participate in hearings, Meta warned that he would not recognise “any unconstitutional and illegal decision or activity” of the parliament or any other “puppet institution of this kleptocratic regime”.
Parliament discussed about the report of the Inquiry Commission and adopted it with 104 votes.
“Meta has betrayed the mission of the President of the Republic of Albania. Ilir Meta has humiliated the Constitution of the Republic of Albania. Ilir Meta has demolished the institution of the guarantor of national unity. Ilir Meta has violated the vital border of the separation of powers and our parliamentary democracy. Ilir Meta has shamed Albania and our Albanian people in the very special relationship with the United States of America,” Prime Minister Edi Rama told the parliament.
“We are sorry for our former friend Ilir, but today’s Meta can never have the high status given to him by parliament,” he added.
This was the second attempt by the Socialists to oust the President. The first time was after Meta declined to decree the local elections in 2019, after the opposition parties, the Democratic Party and his former party, the Socialist Movement for Integration, SMI, refused to participate. After one year, in 2020, and after consulting with the Venice Commission, the Socialists withdrew their demand.
Meta was elected President in 2017 after his SMI governed for four years with Rama’s Socilaists following the general elections in 2013. Meta was then running the SMI, which is now run by his wife, Monika Kryemadhi. Meta served as speaker of parliament during this period. Before that, he governed for four years with the Democrats, when that party was in power and run by Sali Berisha.(Courtesy- BalkanInsight)