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Albanian parliament accuses president of violating constitution | Europe News

Ilir Meta, who was largely responsible for the ceremony, has clashed regularly with the socialist government of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

The Albanian parliament on Wednesday indicted President Ilir Meta for violating the constitution and stepped down.

In an extraordinary session, parliament voted 104-7 to discharge the president. Three abstained. Final approval will come from the Albanian Constitutional Court within three months.

A report by a parliamentary inquiry concluded that Meta had violated the constitution with a partial approach against the ruling socialists in the April 25 parliamentary election campaign. In the report, Meta violated 16 articles and also encouraged violence.

“Ilir Meta … has betrayed the mission of the Albanian president,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a speech before the vote. “Ilir Meta has humiliated the constitution.”

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

There was no reaction from Meta during the discussion or after the vote. In the parliamentary debate, Meta continued his daily agenda, awarding a medal to a folk music group.

By the end of April, 49 Socialist members of the government had requested a committee of inquiry.

Meta, a former socialist prime minister who left the party many years ago, is accused of fomenting instability and violence in the Balkan nation and of supporting the political opposition before the elections.

They say Meta should be indicted for failing to comply with its constitutional obligation to ensure national unity.

The ruling Socialist Party won a landslide of 74 of the 140 seats in parliament in the April 25 election and won a third term in four years.

“The president’s actions, behavior, and vision of the Republic … go against his mission and constitutional stance,” the report says.

According to him, Meta “should be removed from office as President of the Republic for a serious violation (of the constitution).”

The Albanian presidency has a grand ceremony, but it has authority over the judiciary and the armed forces. The role is generally understood to be apolitical, but Meta has regularly clashed with the socialist government of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Since taking office as president with the support of the Socialist government in 2017, Meta has come out against their agenda, blocking the appointment of ministers and vetoing legislation.

Meta has accused Rama of directing the “kleptocratic regime” and accumulating all legislative, administrative and judicial powers in his hands.

Meta says the outgoing assembly is in a post-election transition period and therefore will not be able to carry out these investigative activities. The parliament elected in April is not formally seated until September.

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