TIRANA, July 27 (Xinhua) — The Albanian parliament’s Inquiry Committee charged with investigating whether President Ilir Meta should be impeached approved a motion here on Monday concluding that there are “no strong reasons” to dismiss the head of the country. The vote was 78 in favor, 17 against and eight abstentions.
In mid-June 2019, 55 members of the country’s parliament (MPs) representing the ruling Socialist majority launched procedures to dismiss Meta for allegedly having violated the Constitution by decreeing the cancellation of the local elections set for June 30.
On June 8, 2019, Meta said in a statement that “the actual circumstances do not provide necessary conditions for true, democratic, representative and all-inclusive elections.”
The Inquiry Committee was convened by the Socialist MPs on July 8, 2019. They subsequently received support from the opposition parties in parliament.
Meta’s decision to cancel the scheduled June 30 elections was preceded and followed by anti-government protests in the country. Eventually, the local elections were held on the original date, but the process was boycotted by the major opposition parties. Only candidates of the Socialist Party and the newly established Democratic Conviction Party participated.
In October of 2019, the Inquiry Committee added another issue to its agenda, challenging Meta’s appointment of Constitutional Court judges.
A delegation of the Venice Commission (an advisory body of the Council of Europe) visited Tirana in Sept. 2019 to give an opinion on the powers of the Albanian president to set the dates of elections in a parliamentary system.
On Oct. 11, 2019, the Venice Commission said in a statement that although the president may have acted beyond his constitutional powers, his actions did not justify his dismissal. Enditem