Albanian parliament votes to dismiss president
The Albanian parliament on Wednesday voted to dismiss President Ilir Meta for statements that the ruling party says advocate violence and violate the constitution.
Some 104 of Parliament’s 140 deputies voted for Meta’s dismissal more than a year before the end of his term, the first time this has happened in Albania since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1991.
The Constitutional Court, whose approval is needed to formalize the parliament’s decision, is expected to rule within three months.
The Socialist Party, which was re-elected in April, accused Meta of fomenting violence by siding with opposition parties by alleging ahead of parliamentary elections that it would be rigged.
One person was killed and four others injured in a shootout between supporters of the two main parties, the Socialists and the Democrats, four days before the poll.
Meta, former leader of the small opposition movement Socialist Movement for Integration, has denied any wrongdoing and accuses the Socialists of orchestrating a political vendetta.
He made no immediate comment after the vote, but had previously said he would not obey it.
The president’s role is largely symbolic, although he has certain powers over the judiciary and the military.
Prime Minister Edi Rama, once a Meta ally, said it was time for him to leave.
“Ilir Meta has violated the vital border of the separation of powers in our democracy,” he said before the vote. “Albania cannot take it any longer.”
Meta entered politics in 1999, when he was elected Prime Minister at the age of 30.
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