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Ruling Socialist Party moves to impeach Albanian president

Ruling Socialist Party moves to impeach Albanian president Source: Albanian Parliament

TIRANA (Albania), June 17 (SeeNews) – The head of the parliamentary group of Albania’s ruling Socialist Party, Taulant Balla, said on Monday the group has filed a motion signed by 55 lawmakers for impeachment of the country’s president Ilir Meta over his decision to cancel local elections.

On June 10, Meta signed a decree to cancel the June 30 municipal elections date after the main opposition parties refused to participate in the vote.

The president’s decision to cancel the election date violates the constitutional principles of a parliamentary republic and goes beyond the president’s competencies defined by the constitution, Balla said in a video file posted by prime minister Edi Rama on Facebook.

The assembly will vote on the motion to impeach the president after it goes through a rigorous parliamentary procedure, Balla said, adding that if more than 2/3 of the MPs (over 94) back the motion, it will be sent to the constitutional court which will have the final say.

On Friday, the parliament said it approved a motion against the president’s decision to cancel the local election date backed by 100 MPs.

Last week, the president of European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the political unity in Albania is important in view of reaching the country’s goals on its EU path.

Albania should hold local elections scheduled for end-June in order to avoid the postponement of its EU perspective, Juncker said in a video file published by the EU Commission following a meeting with Edi Rama.

Opposition lawmakers gave up their seats in parliament in February, refusing dialogue with Rama and calling instead for a transitional government without Rama that would be tasked with preparing early parliamentary elections.

The opposition has organized several rallies since the middle of February, accusing the government of corruption and electoral fraud and demanding snap elections.

Representatives of international institutions in Albania have warned the opposition against using violence and called on them to enter dialogue with the government.

Albania was granted EU candidate status in 2014 and hopes to launch membership negotiations later this month.