Electoral College says local elections will take place on June 30

Electoral College says local elections will take place on June 30

TIRANA, June 24 – Albania’s Electoral College supported on Monday the Central Election Commission’s (CEC), which decided the decree of President Ilir Meta cancelling June 30 as the local elections date is invalid and continued with the process preparation. The

Read Full Article
President Meta calls procedure to dismiss him from office a “fake process”

President Meta calls procedure to dismiss him from office a “fake process”

TIRANA, June 23 – Albanian President Ilir Meta called the parliament’s start of procedures to dismiss him from office after he signed a decree that cancelled June 30 as the local elections date a “fake process, blindly oriented politically.” Responding

Read Full Article
“Albania, press freedom is declining,” seven int’l organizations report

“Albania, press freedom is declining,” seven int’l organizations report

TIRANA, June 22 – A delegation of seven  international press freedom organizations published on Friday a preliminary report on the difficulties Albanian journalists face. The report stressed that press freedom in Albania has deteriorated and the government is not transparent,

Read Full Article
A state sinks into the mafia swamp

A state sinks into the mafia swamp

By Pieter Tiede   A police chief who invents a plan for electoral manipulation with a minister. A minister who calls a nationwide known mafia boss to talk about buying votes. A mafia boss who collects identity cards – BILD

Read Full Article
German wiretaps provide more incriminating evidence against Socialist majority

German wiretaps provide more incriminating evidence against Socialist majority

TIRANA, June 18 – The German newspaper BILD published this week a second and third group of interceptions conducted by the prosecution relating to the local and preliminary elections in Northern Dibra region showing Prime Minister Edi Rama, SP Minister

Read Full Article
President Meta to OSCE: “Elections on June 30 are invalid and illegal”

President Meta to OSCE: “Elections on June 30 are invalid and illegal”

TIRANA, June 20 – Albanian President Ilir Meta officially addressed the OSCE and ODIHR presences in Albania on Wednesday, stating the country will not be holding local elections on June 30 and if they are to be held, they will

Read Full Article
Decision to open negotiations with Albania, North Macedonia delayed to October

Decision to open negotiations with Albania, North Macedonia delayed to October

TIRANA, June 20 – The foreign ministers of the EU member states postponed the decision whether to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia in October, agreeing to the text that will be proposed to the heads of states

Read Full Article
Tirana Prosecution fails to provide evidence for charges against opposition leader

Tirana Prosecution fails to provide evidence for charges against opposition leader

TIRANA, June 19 –  On Wednesday, the head of the opposition’s Democratic Party Lulzim Basha voluntarily appeared as a defendant before the Tirana Prosecution to be informed on the charges filed against him at the beginning of the week. Prosecutors

Read Full Article
Civil tension grows as opposition supporters clash with state police in several districts

Civil tension grows as opposition supporters clash with state police in several districts

TIRANA, June 19 – Opposition supporters physically clashed with state police in Kavaja on Wednesday evening, when they tried to forcefully enter the Commissions of Electoral Administration Zones (KZAZ), where the election materials were located. Police threw tear gas and

Read Full Article
Socialists officially seek President’s dismissal

Socialists officially seek President’s dismissal

TIRANA, June 18 – A group of 55 Socialist MPs urged the parliament on Monday to dismiss Albanian President Ilir Meta for canceling the date of local elections. They stated that the president’s act is in open contradiction with the

Read Full Article
WP_Query Object
(
    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 28
            [paged] => 1
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [category_name] => news
            [tag] => 
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [comments_popup] => 
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 10
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 28
                                )

                            [include_children] => 1
                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => IN
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [post_count] => 10
    [current_post] => -1
    [in_the_loop] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [current_comment] => -1
    [found_posts] => 10319
    [max_num_pages] => 1032
    [max_num_comment_pages] => 0
    [is_single] => 
    [is_preview] => 
    [is_page] => 
    [is_archive] => 1
    [is_date] => 
    [is_year] => 
    [is_month] => 
    [is_day] => 
    [is_time] => 
    [is_author] => 
    [is_category] => 1
    [is_tag] => 
    [is_tax] => 
    [is_search] => 
    [is_feed] => 
    [is_comment_feed] => 
    [is_trackback] => 
    [is_home] => 
    [is_404] => 
    [is_comments_popup] => 
    [is_paged] => 
    [is_admin] => 
    [is_attachment] => 
    [is_singular] => 
    [is_robots] => 
    [is_posts_page] => 
    [is_post_type_archive] => 
    [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 6414a4c4e445937d1a6ab91e00af6c20
    [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 
    [thumbnails_cached] => 1
    [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => 
    [query] => Array
        (
            [cat] => 28
            [paged] => 1
        )

    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (28) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 10
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 142340
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2019-06-24 17:17:22
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-24 15:17:22
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 24 - Albania’s Electoral College supported on Monday the Central Election Commission’s (CEC), which decided the decree of President Ilir Meta cancelling June 30 as the local elections date is invalid and continued with the process preparation.

The college was involved by the National Unity Party (PUK), as it asked to be removed from running in the elections per Meta’s cancelation decree, but the CEC rejected its request.

By backing the CEC’s decision regarding the PUK request to be removed from the electoral race, the college virtually recognized June 30 as the local elections’ date. 

The legal arguments upon which the college reached Monday's decision have not been disclosed, but are expected to be disclosed in the coming days when the college’s argumentative decision is published.

The Albanian opposition said the college doesn’t have the authority to assess the president's decree, which, according to it, can only be assessed by the Constitutional Court, which is out of function for the moment. For its part, the Socialist Party is referring to a 2017 decision of the Constitutional Court College, which, according to it, assesses the president's decree as an individual administrative act.

In a reaction which followed the college's decision, President spokesman Teddy Blushi said that according to him, Monday’s developments do not constitute "a surprise from the next long-orchestrated sketch.” 

The Electoral College body that made this decision consisted of judges Tomor Skreli, Ridvan Hado, Lindita Sinanaj, Artur Malaj and Shkëlqim Mustafa.

“On the one hand, the CEC says there will be elections, while the President says there won’t. Our party and our electorate came to an absurd situation. It looks like we were fighting windmills. We do not want to participate and we want the National Unity Party to be removed from the ballot paper,” head of the PUK Idajet Beqiri said during Monday’s session.

Meanwhile, Albanian-American organization VATRA called on political parties to sit and talk in order to offer people a long-term solution that can secure not only democratic standards of the country, but also a peace and social unification.

Through a statement, the Pan-Albanian Federation of Americans expresses concern over the situation in Albania, which it considers to be unprecedented and says it is deeply painful that even after nearly three decades of pluralism, some deep problems related to electoral processes still remain, although interference in the process is completely condemnable. 

Civil conflict, which is taking ground day by day, should not be allowed, and the government has the primary responsibility to find ways to quench it. The sharpening of political disagreement unfortunately accompanies large-scale social divisions, which undermine the European objectives of the country,” the statement said.

VATRA urged the parties to sit on the negotiating table, hoping that the process will be serious and not merely transitory, and at the same time expresses regret over the loss of time, which, according to her, is taken from Albania and its people. 

 
                    [post_title] => Electoral College says local elections will take place on June 30
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => electoral-college-says-local-elections-will-take-place-on-june-30
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 17:17:22
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 15:17:22
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142340
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [1] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 142343
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2019-06-23 22:18:25
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-23 20:18:25
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 23 - Albanian President Ilir Meta called the parliament’s start of procedures to dismiss him from office after he signed a decree that cancelled June 30 as the local elections date a “fake process, blindly oriented politically.”

Responding to the letter sent by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission of Laws Ulsi Manja regarding the beginning of the dismissal process, the Presidency specified that “the decree is taken in full support of the constitutional provisions and in defense of the fundamental principles deriving from them. This decree is in force and is published in the Official Gazette on June 11 and is consequently known and mandatory for implementation by all, including Parliament.”

In the president’s response it is underlined that the head of state’s “important act interrupted a fictional electoral process practically transformed into a voting process, without competition and without alternative.” 

Consequently, “all the current parliamentary activity that strives to interrupt the activity of the President of the Republic, but without being able to overthrow the content of his decree, is a fake process, unsupported in constitutional arguments but only blindly oriented politically .”

Meta’s letter goes further. stating that "this fake and blind political process does not serve at all to solve the deep crisis in the country, but rather it exacerbates it.”

The Socialist majority has considered the President's decree as "an act of open violation of the Constitution". The dismissal procedures started at the request of the 55 Socialist MPs, and they foresee some procedures that require their time.

Following the assessment of the Laws Commission, it is expected that the Parliament will then decide on setting up an Investigation Commission that will also need to hear the President's arguments. 

Afterwards, the committee’s report goes to parliament. Approval of the dismissal requires a majority of 2/3 of the members of parliament. The majority alone does not have these votes, and will have to win over the support of new opposition MPs in the hall. The last word, however, belongs the Constitutional Court. The latter is still out of function, with only one of nine mandatory members. 

Meta signed the decree canceling the June 30 local elections arguing Albania is heading towards an undemocratic process, with many of the municipalities represented with only one candidate due to the opposition’s early-February resignation. 

The opposition’s Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration resigned their parliamentary mandates in February and have been protesting ever since against Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government, which they accuse of vote buying and ties to organized crime and demand its resignation and the establishment of a caretaker government.

 
                    [post_title] => President Meta calls procedure to dismiss him from office a “fake process” 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => president-meta-calls-procedure-to-dismiss-him-from-office-a-fake-process
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 22:21:15
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 20:21:15
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142343
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [2] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 142337
                    [post_author] => 281
                    [post_date] => 2019-06-22 14:10:55
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-22 12:10:55
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 22 - A delegation of seven  international press freedom organizations published on Friday a preliminary report on the difficulties Albanian journalists face.

The report stressed that press freedom in Albania has deteriorated and the government is not transparent, while politicians use derogatory language against the media.

The report was published under a joint mission held in Tirana by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Article 19, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), the European Journalists Federation (EJF), the International Press Institute (IPI), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Media Organization in South East Europe (SEEMO).

Sarah Clarke, belonging to the "Article 19" organization, said during a follow-up press conference that the mission is concerned about journalists’ self-censorship and is shocked by the close ties between politicians, media owners and interest groups and the sources behind media funding - all elements which make the journalist's work difficult when preparing articles against corruption and legal violations.

After a series of meetings with media and government representatives, they noted that Albania is not fulfilling domestic law obligations, as well as her obligations as a member of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and aspirations as a European Union member state. 

“Compared to the region, Albania is one of the countries with the greatest problems regarding press freedom,” said Oliver Vujovic from the SEEMO organization.

The report notes that physical attacks on journalists have not been investigated, while senior public officials often use insulting and demeaning language against critical journalists.

Attila Mong, belonging to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, said the mission has noticed a reluctance of Albanian journalists to denounce cases of pressure on them, because they fear that they may suffer even worse if they denounce them.

Meanwhile, Scott Griffen from the International Press Institute said that currently in Europe and the Balkans, governments are struggling to hamper independent reporting and keep journalists from being critical by imposing their own messages. 

"We have also noticed this in Albania. This should not be accepted because it is not normal. Governments can give their opinion, but the reporter is free to reflect the story from his implied point of view,” Griffen said. 

The delegation reported that "Albanian public administration, from Tirana's prime minister and mayor's office, is not transparent with the media and restricting of critical journalists point of view."

"The recently proposed media legislation, including a draconian scheme of rules for Albanian and foreign media on the Internet, does not comply with international human rights standards,” the report also read. 

The delegation gathered information and held meetings with journalists, editors, representatives of civil society, international organizations, embassies in Tirana, senior government officials and Prime Minister Edi Rama. 

Mayor of Tirana Erjon Veliaj refused to meet the delegation.

"Defamation jail sentences were abolished in 2012, but defamation and insult remain criminal offenses punishable by a fine and in recent years there have been proposals to reintroduce criminal convictions for defamation against senior state officials in the criminal code,” the delegation said. 

The delegation voiced concern over the increasing number of politically motivated libel lawsuits, filed by politicians and seeking high reparations.

"Even without the threat of imprisonment, the possibility of facing a criminal conviction can push journalists to self-censorship,” the coalition said. "We encourage Albania to abolish all criminal laws for defamation and insult,” he said. 

 
                    [post_title] => “Albania, press freedom is declining,” seven int’l organizations report 
                    [post_excerpt] => 
                    [post_status] => publish
                    [comment_status] => closed
                    [ping_status] => closed
                    [post_password] => 
                    [post_name] => albania-press-freedom-is-declining-seven-intl-organizations-report
                    [to_ping] => 
                    [pinged] => 
                    [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 14:22:51
                    [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 12:22:51
                    [post_content_filtered] => 
                    [post_parent] => 0
                    [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142337
                    [menu_order] => 0
                    [post_type] => post
                    [post_mime_type] => 
                    [comment_count] => 0
                    [filter] => raw
                )

            [3] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 142332
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2019-06-21 13:18:50
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-21 11:18:50
                    [post_content] => By Pieter Tiede 

 

A police chief who invents a plan for electoral manipulation with a minister. A minister who calls a nationwide known mafia boss to talk about buying votes. A mafia boss who collects identity cards - BILD are new secret phone recordings of Albanian anti-mafia investigators.

The tapes show an example of the collaboration for election manipulation in 2017 between the highest politicians of the ruling socialists, mafia bosses, police and senior civil servants in Albania.

 

And they show why the election business pays off for everyone involved:
  • The socialists remained in power.
  • Police leaders were promoted.
  • Mafia bosses got promises of impunity.
  It's about:
  • Vote purchase,
  • Cooperation with criminal gangs,
  • Threat and blackmail of voters and civil servants who want to vote for the opposition
  • The use of police and gangs for vote-buying and blackmail.
  Involved in this case:
  • Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri
  • The then police chief of the Diber region, Robert Aga
  • The head of Parliament's security committee, Xhemal Qefalia
  • And the nationwide notorious Imer Lala - a friend of the Prime Minister. According to investigators in Tirana a convicted serious criminal, whose daughter makes career with the socialists.
  Police Chief Robert Aga: Yes, mate! Bekim Krashi: Ah, What you have achieved, what you have achieved, you killed it completely, hahahahaha! You are killing it, you are not letting anything go! Police Chief Robert Aga: I want to have 1,000 plus [votes]. I do not accept anything under 1,000. […] Police Chief Robert Aga: My strategy works! Bekim Krashi: I know, I know. You have declared it! You are a political commissar, hahahaha! Police Chief Robert Aga: Yes, yes. Look, is [Ministe] Damian Gjiknuri there with you? Bekim Krashi: Why, you want me to pass the phone over? Police Chief Robert Aga: Yes, pass it on. Police Chief Robert Aga: Hi, boss! Minister Daminan Gjiknuri: What’s up? […] Police Chief Robert Aga: Because you did not have faith in me. Minister Daminan Gjiknuri: Earthquake! Earthquake! You are the master! You said it… Hahahaha! You are a giant! Cmon, ciao. Don’t speak too much here, right.   For more than 25 years elections in Albania have been "bought" again and again. But never came to real charges. Even after the election in 2017 nothing happened - although the extent was greater than ever before, as experienced investigators report. In 2017, the drug mafia played a decisive role nationwide - she had been able to cultivate marijuana undisturbed in the country for the first time the year before, and had actually shopped into the state!   Police Chief Robert Aga: Hey, I am part of the Socialist Party, and I would not change, not for a million years. […] MP Xhemal Qefalia: Gramoz [Ruci] was there, also Edi [Rama] was there. All of them were there. As we were talking… in fact Damian [Gjiknuri] spoke very well about you, also Blerina [Gjylameti], and I said: He needs to get going, you have f…ed him, sent him there [to Dibër], he can also do a lot over here [in Tirana]. I also told Ulsi [Manja] in order to reinforce it, because I thought he might object to it. I told them, he can work for me here in Tirana, but the thing is even where he is, he gets things done. Police Chief Robert Aga: God willing they first move me to Bulqiza.   “In 2016 and 2017 Albania became the drug laboratory of Europe. If oligarchs and local clan chiefs had previously decided who would be elected, then the drug mafia had taken control nationwide, "according to a Western European investigator who was working undercover in Albania. Initially, Rama had really brought the country on a reform path, so he turned Albania from 2015 into a drug republic - the Colombia of Europe. The result: The EU initially postponed the membership talks planned for the summer to October. The president postponed municipal elections scheduled for late June - indefinitely. The government arrested opposition leaders nationwide - role models: Putin Russia and Erdogan Turkey! After recent BILD revelations raging government opponents stormed the election offices and burned election documents in some regions - there were several injured. The fear: these elections could have been bought.   MP Qefalia: I am here with the Prime Minister and the Ministers! Police Chief Robert Aga: Oh, no! I assure you I will do whatever you guys want! MP Qefalia: Let me get the minister for you, talk to him because you are breaking my balls, talk to him. [Talks to Minister Tahiri, who is the chief of Aga] Talk a bit to this friend of mine from the police station. Minister Tahiri: Hey, Bert! […] Thank you very much for your involvement, you are a giant! Police Chief Robert Aga: It’s my duty! Minister Tahiri: You were great! And don’t break your balls about what they [opposition party] are saying because… Police Chief Robert Aga: I am your soldier! MP Qefalia: Ulsi says hello too. Talk to Ulsi a bit too… MP Ulsi Manja: Where are you bro? Police Chief Robert Aga: How are you doing? MP Manja: With the Prime Minister now. Police Chief Robert Aga: I need to go there [promoted to Bulqiza]… for a while. MP Manja: We are thinking about a higher posting for you […] We are talking about something higher up, because we need you for something bigger. Police Chief Robert Aga: Ok then, fine. […] MP Qefalia: You are my friend, don’t beat my d…ck. Do you want to talk to [Edi] Rama? Police Chief Robert Aga: Cmon bro… now, that document…   The anti-mafia investigators had listened closely to hints from abroad since 2016. They had - among other things - initiated the investigation case "184 /" - actually, to prove the connections between drug bosses and politics. They caught tons of conversations and collusion between mafia, civil servants and the highest politicians.   Imer Lala speaks with Minister Damian Gjiknuri, who thanks him for the great results achieved in elections. Minister Gjiknuri: Earthquake! Earthquake! Wow! Wow! Wow! Earthquake! F…k them all! Ime Lala: You see what the two of us have achived! Damian Gjiknuri: Earthquake! Imer Lala: Hey, “The Man” was writing to me. Damian Gjiknuri: Yeah… Imer Lala: I told him, are you asleep. No, man, he said, I am stunned, I cannot sleep […] I told him you have not really known Damian Gjiknuri and myself then. Damian Gjiknuri: Earthquake! Earthquake! Imer Lala: Cmon, please, let me finish… Damian Gjiknuri: F…k them all! I think your word of over 1,000 [votes] is proven right now! Imer Lala: Hey, I mean it, even you have not really known me! Damian Gjiknuri: Eh, you have known me and I have known you!   But for more than two years, these recordings are unprocessed in the state prosecutor's office. Not one of the politicians or mobsters who clearly speak on the tapes about buying votes and illegal collusion was charged - or even heard only as a witness. The majority of the recordings could not even be written off.   Unknown person: Chairman of the FRD and his people have voted for Sherefedin Shehu [opposition candidate] Imer Lala: No, that’s not true!!! Unknown: Yes, I checked it now, cos he voted 20 minutes ago. Imer Lala: F…k him and al his people! Unknown: I checked it, because I left someone there, 5 people […] all of them for Sherefedin. Imer Lala: I will call that piece of shit. F…k him! When I came there I called him. I told him you will go to the headquarters […] and that we are for this one [PS candidate].   There is something exciting to hear. Approximately: ► As the Albanian Minister of Energy said after talks with Prime Minister Rama, the chief of police of Diber, that he could count on a transfer to a better post - as a reward for the election manipulation in his home region. ► As the head of the National Security Committee of Parliament intervenes. ► How a criminal de facto heads the election campaign in a whole region. ► How criminals collect IDs from voters of the opposition so that they can not vote. ► How the criminal prides himself on having been a "big man", ie head of government Rama.   Unknown: Bro, a certain Basri Veseli, do we know him? Imer Lala: Basri Veseli, yes. Unknown: I met him, but he hasn’t received anything [money]. Imer Lala: What do you mean? Nothing? Unknown: Did you bring him some coffee [slang for “money”]? Imer Lala: Yes, I did that sort of thing. Unknown: But then you are done buddy, but they have not gone there [with the money].   After the recent BILD publication, which showed exemplary, as from the top down government officials were systematically pressured to vote for the governing party, accused the Prime Minister Edi Rama BILD again lies, called on the prosecutor's office to investigate the sources for the Publish the secret recordings and announce their own lawsuits.   Unknown: Shefki Xhura, shall I give back the ID cards to him or not? Imer Lala: Give them back, give them back. Unknown: I have finished the thing with him [slang for “payment”], but shall I still give back the ID cards to him? Imer Lala: Give them back.   But the recordings, which BILD now publishes, allow only one more interpretation: For the 2017 election, there was a massive conspiracy of high-ranking politicians and criminals to manipulate elections. The problem in Albania: There is almost no political force that is considered "clean". The government accuses the opposition of accepting funds from Russia. The Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court have not been quorum for a year, because there were hardly any judges who could conclusively declare their income in the opinion of the majority in Parliament. But it is precisely these courts that should judge the electoral manipulations, if it ever comes to prosecutions.   Imer Lala: Yes, I was thinking we can have a coffee, but I was thinking, I have gathered the people here to allocate, the monitoring teams for the tents. Damian Gjiknuri: By the kiosk, are you there, at your place? Imer Lala: Yes, don’t be late please.   The Constitutional Court should also decide on the latest case: The ruling party wants to depose the country's president, Ilir Meta. Reason: He had deposed planned for the end of June local elections because he sees the freedom of choice in danger: because of the massive allegations against the ruling party, the mass protests and the fact that the opposition in protest against the last election manipulation in many places no longer own candidates had set up…   *This article was published on Wednesday, June 19,  2019 in the German newspaper BILD. [post_title] => A state sinks into the mafia swamp [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-state-sinks-into-the-mafia-swamp [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 13:18:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 11:18:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142332 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142279 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-06-21 09:07:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-21 07:07:59 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 18 - The German newspaper BILD published this week a second and third group of interceptions conducted by the prosecution relating to the local and preliminary elections in Northern Dibra region showing Prime Minister Edi Rama, SP Minister Damian Gjiknuri and Saimir Tahiri (at the time ministers of Infrastructure and Interior respectively) and local police and education officials engaging in vote-buying practices. In the majority of the first group of interceptions, published on Monday, results a local socialist representative Arben Keshi, who according to SP sources, was subsequently appointed director in one of the Interior Ministry branches. The ones published on Wednesday mainly include Gjinkuri and Tahiri, who is currently under charges for links with the Vlora region Habilaj gang operating in Vlora during his time in office. The additionally show Ymer Lala, alleged criminal figure of the region, discussing with above-mentioned politicians on how to buy votes. Prime Minister Rama, who is also allegedly heard in a conversation with Keshi about the election situation and the expected outcome, reacted by saying that according to him that “the uninvestigated interceptions of Saliu's servant again show that they were done for blackmail.” Later in the week, Rama first accepted the veracity of the interceptions and later said he would sue German journalist Pieter Tiede for defamation.   The interceptions It is alleged the first group of interceptions include Prime Minister Edi Rama, former Infrastructure Minister Damian Gjiknuri, SP candidate for the Municipality of Lezhë Pjerin Ndreu, former deputy Artan Gaçe, director of the Interior Ministry Arben Keshi, Director of Education in Debar Drini Gjeci and Chief of Police Station No. 5 in Kamza Sali Skura.   Interception 1 Edi Rama calls Arben Keshi, director at the Interior Ministry and asks him whether he has realized his objective and spoken with the commissioners. “Keshi: Hey boss. Rama: How is it looking? Keshi: Well, we are meeting expectations well. Rama: Have you realized the goals? Keshi: I think so. We have, according to what the commissioners tell us. Rama: Is that so? Keshi: Yes, yes, I believe so. Rama: Did those degenerates try to pressure you last night? Keshi: Yes, they wanted to get me but it was a two minute thing as I was entering the SHTABI, they were waiting for me at the hotel I was sleeping. Rama: And what would they do to you? Keshi: It was about 50 of them. Nothing, this pressure stuff with hitting and such. That Flamur Noka is a bad man. Rama: Flamur Noka has nothing on you man.” The interception continues with Rama asking Keshi again whether objectives have been met and Keshi reassuring him the commissioners have said so.   Interception 2 Socialist MP Artan Gaci speaks to Keshi and tells him that Rama greatly appreciates him and the work he has done during the electoral campaign. “Gaci: We were in Ndroq with the big boss...great words for you. Keshi: Thanks. Gaci: No, on his side, from him, and certainly myself too. He said all Maqellare was won because of you. He said you also won in 2011, but some stuff happened with one box. It’s all Beni’s merit.”   Interception 3 Keshi speaks to an unidentified SP representative about buying the votes of one family. “SP representative: I’m at Tasie Lleshi. Keshi: What is she saying? SP representative: Refiku doesn’t want. She says 30, if it’s not around 30 she doesnn’t want to. Keshi: Let them, if they don’t want them let them. Let them go at the DP.”   Interception 4 Keshi speaks to Drini Gjeci, Head of Education in Diber and asks him to pressure all teachers that if they don’t vote for the SP they will be dismissed. “Gjeci: Do you think the directors did their job, or should I have a meeting with them all? Keshi: Call them one by one. On Monday you will all be damned. All directors on the phone, tell them ‘report on who have you called for’ because they are sleeping. Women, men, whatever. You will remind all teachers, based on the lists you have submitted. If they want to be employed on Monday.”   Interception 5 Arben Keshi speaks with Sali Skura, Head of the Kamza Police Station No. 5, and asks him to stop DP voters living in Kamza but with the right to vote in Diber. Skura says he has set up police patrols to stop them. “Keshi: You Kamza people tire us. Stop the Kamza buses. Skura: Well, we’ve put police blockpoints. They are expected to start tomorrow around three. Keshi: Do you have any information on how many? Skura: It is thought to be 450 to 500 people. Keshi: Dis Xhelali organize them? Skura: Xhelali has organized the whole municipality today. He is leading them to new Tourism Hotel in Lura. How does Maqellara look? Arben Keshi: Maqellara is good because there is no Kamez point. Skura: The problem is Lura. But we have all commissioners in our pockets, right? Keshi: Yes, yes.”   Head of opposition: “Removing Rama from office is a national mission”   On the eve of the elections, the Democratic Party filed a criminal charge against a number of local police directors, regional education officials, tax authorities, OSHEE, etc. and publicly denounced Ymer Lala, an allegedly renowned criminal figure in the area. Following the publication of the latest interceptions, head of the opposition’s Democratic Party Lulzim Basha reacted through a Facebook post. “Edi Rama is the crime padrino. He no longer has an alibi. Removing him and his band from office is a national mission,” Basha wrote.   Rama vows to sue German journalist over defamation Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama claimed on Monday that he is being blackmailed by the publication of prosecution-intercepted conversations that are alleged to highlight widespread violations by scores of Socialist Party officials during local elections in the Dibra municipality. In a series of messages on Twitter, Rama said he will sue Peter Tiede, a German journalist who published the leaked conversations in the German newspaper Bild. “I decided to sue this journalist in German courts and in that blessed country,” Rama said in one Twitter post, hours after new 16 intercepted phone calls were published by Bild in German and English, and the audio was posted on Tiede’s Facebook page in Albanian. Meanwhile, Rama previously confirmed that the conversation between him and Keshi was genuine, but denied any wrongdoing, insisting that Keshi was not a public official during the elections, just a Socialist Party supporter. “I do confirm this conversation and I would do it again,” Rama wrote on Twitter. “AK did not work in the police force back then,” he added. It is based on this detail that Rama claims he will sue Tiede for. [post_title] => German wiretaps provide more incriminating evidence against Socialist majority [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => german-wiretaps-provide-more-incriminating-evidence-against-socialist-majority [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 09:09:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 07:09:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142279 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142253 [post_author] => 281 [post_date] => 2019-06-20 10:44:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-20 08:44:09 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 20 - Albanian President Ilir Meta officially addressed the OSCE and ODIHR presences in Albania on Wednesday, stating the country will not be holding local elections on June 30 and if they are to be held, they will be considered invalid. In a letter directed to the respective offices, Meta wrote that his latest decree has annulled June 30 as the official local elections date, due to the deadlock Albania is facing and the opposition’s complete parliamentary resignation. Meta wrote to Miroslav Lajčák, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and to Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, that the one-sided votings held by Edi Rama and his government are illegitimate and should not be recognized. In the letter, dated June 19, 2019, Meta informed the officials that if elections are to be held in violation of the decree, they will be considered invalid. Meta said that his decree of June 10, 2019, also published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Albania, is in force and therefore valid local elections can not take place on June 30. “Abiding to Albanian legislation, the decree No. 1199, dated 10.06.2019, is in force and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Albania on 11th of June” wrote Meta. He further added that this decree should be legally implemented by all other institutions, including the Central Election Commission and other election administration bodies. “The decree is therefore legally binding and must be implemented by all national institutions involved in the administration of electoral process in Albania, including the Central Election Commission.” The president’s letter to the OSCE comes amidst growing tensions and clashes between local authorities led by the opposition and the government. “Prime Minister Edi Rama’s efforts to ignore and block the implementation of the decree of the President of the Republic are completely lawless and worsening the crisis in Albania,” Meta concluded. On Monday and Tuesday, opposition representatives and protesters clashed with municipal representatives in Shkoder and Tropoje, seeking they vacate the voting centres.Opposition supporters stormed in and damaged election supplies to prevent preparations for local elections in several voting centers across the country. On Tuesday, local authorities in several other cities demanded the local election administration to vacate voting centers in compliance with the presidential decree. Meanwhile, Albania is set to hold the OSCE chairmanship next year. Following Meta’s letter, a number of politics experts commented on his decree and the meaning it holds regarding the work of international presence like OSCE in Albania assisting with elections’ development and implementation. “OSCE/ODIHR has a right to draw attention based on what it has monitored. But Albanian elections are implemented based on the President’s decree. In the instance when the President makes a second decree and cancels elections, OSCE/ODIHR become unnecessary. ODIHR representatives should have interrupted their mission a day after the president’s decree,” Besnik Mustafaj, former Foreign Minister, told local News 24.   [post_title] => President Meta to OSCE: “Elections on June 30 are invalid and illegal” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-mea-to-osce-elections-on-june-30-are-invalid-and-illegal [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 11:05:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 09:05:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142253 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142287 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-06-20 09:14:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-20 07:14:34 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 20 - The foreign ministers of the EU member states postponed the decision whether to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia in October, agreeing to the text that will be proposed to the heads of states who are to meet under the European Council meeting on June 20 to 21. The decision postponement for fall was expected, as Germany is awaiting the evaluation of its parliament, and some skeptical countries like France and the Netherlands were not ready for a quick decision. The text agreed on by the foreign ministers can be considered hopeful if the context of domestic developments in the member states is taken into account, as well as the fact that the Council is committed to come up with a clear decision within October. According to the conclusion forwarded to the Council, the latter “takes into consideration the recommendation of the Commission to open accession negotiations with Albania based on its positive assessment of the progress made and the fulfillment of the conditions identified by the Council. Given the limited time available and the importance of the matter, the council will turn to this issue in order to reach a clear and substantial decision as soon as possible and not later than October 2019.” The same wording was given for North Macedonia, rejecting the latter’s request to be judged separately from Albania regarding the decision to open accession negotiations. However, diplomats said that North Macedonia still has the best chance of opening negotiations later this year, while Albania's prospects seem to be smaller. Perceived as one of Europe's most corrupt countries, according to Transparency International, Albania has made limited progress in the fight against money laundering, despite dismissals of corrupt judges and prosecutors, EU and US officials say. At the end of the meeting, Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn said afternoon that he “regretted that a few member states did not support the Commission's clear proposal.” According to him, Albania and North Macedonia should have been rewarded as they had fulfilled what they were asked last year. EU credibility is at stake, as well as the further promotion of reforms,” Hahn underlined. In Tirana, the Ambassador of the European Delegation, Luigi Soreca, through a Twitter post, commented on the position of member states, writing that in anticipation of the “clear and substantial decision” in October, it is now time for all institutions to follow up on focusing on the reform process, particularly on judicial reform. Meanwhile, General Democrat Party Secretary Gazmend Bardhi ironised Rama, writing that “Rama is the only prime minister in the world who calls bad news for the country as positive news, breaking the record from the previous year, when he lied to Albanians that the negotiations were opened.”   [post_title] => Decision to open negotiations with Albania, North Macedonia delayed to October [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => decision-to-open-negotiations-with-albania-north-macedonia-delayed-to-october [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 09:16:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 07:16:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142287 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142290 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-06-19 09:15:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-19 07:15:08 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 19 -  On Wednesday, the head of the opposition’s Democratic Party Lulzim Basha voluntarily appeared as a defendant before the Tirana Prosecution to be informed on the charges filed against him at the beginning of the week. Prosecutors informed him only about the Criminal Code articles under which he was charged, but failed to provide any factual basis or reasonable grounds for the charge. Prosecutors told Mr. Basha this information would be provided to him at a later time, because it is not ready yet. Previously in the week Basha called the prosecution allegations laughable and said that Prime Minister Edi Rama cannot scare him to quit, in context of the opposition protesting for Rama’s resignation since February, Basha addressed the prosecution with a letter saying charges against him are against the law. “I don’t care about these accusations and political investigation. Edi Rama thinks he will scare me or make the opposition back off, but he will soon see I don't scare or withdraw. This absurd investigation has been under his sleeve for almost a year, without evidence or any fact against the Democratic Party. Now that he is desperate to diffuse attention from the political crisis and his cooperation with crime to manipulate the elections, Rama has decided to make up absurd accusations to distract the public,” Basha said. Basha argued the prosecution has not presented to him the investigative findings which put him under charge as required by the law and said that until it does, he will not appear to court. He said these are methods “similar to Putin and Maduro in order to shut their mouths and neutralize political opponents and destroy democracy,” but will only further “deepen the pit where Edi Rama has fallen and make his end inevitable.” On Tuesday, the Democratic Party and a number of media also said that Interior Minister Sander Lleshaj met with Basha’s bodyguard and informed him the opposition leader’s life is in danger - a move which the opposition has called a way to try and blackmail him. In a letter to Lleshaj, bearing the signature of the DP Secretary General Gazmend Bardhi, it was written that Lleshaj has violated any procedure and any institutional way of dealing with this issue. According to the opposition, it is not the individual or his bodyguard who can address threats and protection against them, but the Guard of the Republic. In the DP's letter to Lleshaj it is stated that taking into account the circumstances and legal violations in dealing with this issue, the suspicion that the real purpose of the meeting was the blackmail the head of opposition is reinforced. The prosecution began verifying PD lobbying contracts with several US companies in November 2017 to clarify funding sources for these contracts and to see if the transactions were legal. The issue surfaced when American lobbying firm ‘Muzin Capitol Partners’ supplemented with additional information its legally binding declarations for the Department of Justice and the left-oriented Mother Jones magazine wrote a lengthy report on it. According to ‘Muzin’ statements, the entity has received three payments in the amount of $675,000 for its work in favor of the Democratic Party in 2017: the first payment on March 24, 2017 was made by the firm “Biniatta Trade LP “, worth $150,000, while the other two payments were made by the Democratic Party, one on March 27, for $25,000, and the other on June 9 for $500,000. The DP has only taken credit for one of the payments, coming from party resources. The Democratic Party has also denied any connection with the “Biniatta Trade LP” firm, which is registered in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is owned by a chain of companies registered in Belize – a Central American state, known as a fiscal haven.   [post_title] => Tirana Prosecution fails to provide evidence for charges against opposition leader [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tirana-prosecution-fails-to-provide-evidence-for-charges-against-opposition-leader [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 09:32:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 07:32:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142290 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142283 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-06-19 09:09:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-19 07:09:55 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 19 - Opposition supporters physically clashed with state police in Kavaja on Wednesday evening, when they tried to forcefully enter the Commissions of Electoral Administration Zones (KZAZ), where the election materials were located. Police threw tear gas and water with high pressure to keep protesters away, even leaving the facility's area to capture some of the most active protesters in its proximity. Similar moments of strong tension took place on Wednesday in many cities in Albania, especially where the opposition has control over the municipalities. Its supporters gathered around the premises where the KZAZ have been set up, demanding the electoral process be terminated. The situation also escalated towards confrontation between the police and opposition supporters in Kamez and Burrel, where similar attempts were made to enter the KZAZs. The police used tear gas to keep away opposition supporters who later entered the Palace of Sports, taking, destroying and ultimately burning the electoral materials. Right-wing municipalities have been insisting for the premises that have been made available to the Central Election Commission (CEC) to be evacuated for the June 30 local elections process. According to them, the decree of President Ilir Meta for the cancellation of June 30 should be respected, and consequently there can be no election process. Meanwhile, the CEC considered the decision of the head of state to be void and continued with the preparations for the elections. Strong tensions were also recorded in Tropoja this week, where opposition supporters entered the city centre’s KZAZ. In Shkodra, opposition supporters, together with employees of the Shkodra Municipality and former DP deputies, gathered on Tuesday evening in the yard of the "Shejnaze Juka" Middle School and, after several minutes of confrontation with the police forces, set fire to the school’s first floor. All materials brought by the CEC for the preparation of the voting day were burned. Former DP MP Bardh Spahija, who was among the protesters, said that “this was only the beginning of popular revolt against those who are imposing on Albanians one-sided elections. It was a quick reaction of the Shkodra citizens. This is not violence. Violence was an attempt by the state police to usurp the institutions and impose itself on Shkodra citizens.” Meanwhile, Shkodra Mayor Voltana Ademi, who heads the association of right-wing mayors, said in the evening that “only the voting stands were burned. Electoral materials are illegally in the school premises administered by the Municipality of Shkodra. The municipality has officially asked for three days that the buildings where the KZAZs are located to be released.” The incidents in Tropoja and Shkodra also follow the request of the mayors of some right-wing municipalities to release the KZAZs and polling stations. Through this demand, right-wing municipalities and opposition supporters are aiming to hinder preparations for the June 30th local elections, while the Socialists are continuing with elections’ preparation. The CEC said it is continuing its work on preparing the June 30 local elections and warned that any violation of this process constitutes a punishable criminal offense. On Wednesday, Rama warned a new law that will prohibit anyone who commits ‘electoral violations,’ meaning that will interrupt local elections, to leave the country for ten years will pass in parliament.   [post_title] => Civil tension grows as opposition supporters clash with state police in several districts [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => civil-tension-grows-as-opposition-supporters-clash-with-state-police-in-several-districts [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-21 09:13:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-21 07:13:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142283 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142235 [post_author] => 281 [post_date] => 2019-06-18 17:45:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-18 15:45:31 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 18 - A group of 55 Socialist MPs urged the parliament on Monday to dismiss Albanian President Ilir Meta for canceling the date of local elections. They stated that the president’s act is in open contradiction with the constitutional principles of a parliamentary Republic, with the functions of his post and with the normal exercise of sovereignty by the people. Meta has lost the right to stay in that office with our consent. We Socialists do not belong to the political culture of arbitrariness and violation of the law and will strictly follow the procedure foreseen in the case of dismissal to the President,” said Chairman of the SP’s parliamentary group Taulant Balla. Socialist MPs added that the president decreed the election date and on the basis of that decree a series of preparations for the electoral process started  which he can no longer be reversed. They cited a series of Constitutional articles and comments that the president has violated the constitutional principle that sovereignty belongs to the people. The Socialist MPs further claim that not setting a new local elections date also undermines the people’s sovereignty. Meanwhile, the Central Election Commission responded today to President Meta's request for information on the 122 MPs currently in parliament and their affiliation in electoral zones. Meta's request to the CEC was interpreted as a preliminary step in studying the possibility to call off the parliament. When the parliament adopted the resolution against Meta's decree by 100 votes, although having already entered into force with its publication in the Official Journal, Meta said that the existing parliament, with its deputies, is not legitimate “The President has been elected by the Parliament. Of course not by this, but by a completely legitimate Parliament,” said Meta. Meanwhile, Meta has started consultations with political parties on a new local election date. He has held meetings with several opposition parties, but the Socialists are continuing the campaign to run the elections on June 30th. Meta also held a meeting with the ambassadors of the European Union, where he explained his steps for the postponement of local elections. According to local media reports, during the meeting they discussed the political crisis and the risk of civil conflict between the parties for and against local elections. However, the Socialist MPs formalized their opinion of dismissing the president. They wrote in the official request that with the annulment of local elections, the president practically behaves as from a position of absolute power, acting beyond the powers given by the sovereign through the Constitution. The request of the Socialist MPs is based on Article 90 of the Constitution, which states that “the President of the Republic may be dismissed for serious violations of the Constitution and for committing a serious crime.” The dismissal proposal must be made by a quarter of MPs and should be supported by two-thirds, or 94 votes, which the Socialists do not formally have. According to the foreseen procedure, a review of the request for dismissal from the Legal Affairs Commission should be made, followed by an investigative commission, which should make a report after the investigation, and the examination of the materials at a debate session, as well as the final vote, in favor with 94 votes . Finally, the parliament’s decision is sent to the Constitutional Court, which is currently out of order. Only when the Constitutional Court approves the blame of the President of the Republic, it can declare his dismissal from office, the Constitution states. All legal steps require weeks of action, not mentioning the season holidays, the inexistence of a Constitutional Court currently and the absence of socialist votes; elements that make it difficult to follow the procedures. [post_title] => Socialists officially seek President’s dismissal [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => socialists-officially-seek-presidents-dismissal [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-20 10:44:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-20 08:44:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142235 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142340 [post_author] => 281 [post_date] => 2019-06-24 17:17:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-24 15:17:22 [post_content] => TIRANA, June 24 - Albania’s Electoral College supported on Monday the Central Election Commission’s (CEC), which decided the decree of President Ilir Meta cancelling June 30 as the local elections date is invalid and continued with the process preparation. The college was involved by the National Unity Party (PUK), as it asked to be removed from running in the elections per Meta’s cancelation decree, but the CEC rejected its request. By backing the CEC’s decision regarding the PUK request to be removed from the electoral race, the college virtually recognized June 30 as the local elections’ date. The legal arguments upon which the college reached Monday's decision have not been disclosed, but are expected to be disclosed in the coming days when the college’s argumentative decision is published. The Albanian opposition said the college doesn’t have the authority to assess the president's decree, which, according to it, can only be assessed by the Constitutional Court, which is out of function for the moment. For its part, the Socialist Party is referring to a 2017 decision of the Constitutional Court College, which, according to it, assesses the president's decree as an individual administrative act. In a reaction which followed the college's decision, President spokesman Teddy Blushi said that according to him, Monday’s developments do not constitute "a surprise from the next long-orchestrated sketch.” The Electoral College body that made this decision consisted of judges Tomor Skreli, Ridvan Hado, Lindita Sinanaj, Artur Malaj and Shkëlqim Mustafa. “On the one hand, the CEC says there will be elections, while the President says there won’t. Our party and our electorate came to an absurd situation. It looks like we were fighting windmills. We do not want to participate and we want the National Unity Party to be removed from the ballot paper,” head of the PUK Idajet Beqiri said during Monday’s session. Meanwhile, Albanian-American organization VATRA called on political parties to sit and talk in order to offer people a long-term solution that can secure not only democratic standards of the country, but also a peace and social unification. Through a statement, the Pan-Albanian Federation of Americans expresses concern over the situation in Albania, which it considers to be unprecedented and says it is deeply painful that even after nearly three decades of pluralism, some deep problems related to electoral processes still remain, although interference in the process is completely condemnable. Civil conflict, which is taking ground day by day, should not be allowed, and the government has the primary responsibility to find ways to quench it. The sharpening of political disagreement unfortunately accompanies large-scale social divisions, which undermine the European objectives of the country,” the statement said. VATRA urged the parties to sit on the negotiating table, hoping that the process will be serious and not merely transitory, and at the same time expresses regret over the loss of time, which, according to her, is taken from Albania and its people.   [post_title] => Electoral College says local elections will take place on June 30 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => electoral-college-says-local-elections-will-take-place-on-june-30 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 17:17:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 15:17:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142340 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 28 [name] => News [slug] => news [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 28 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 10319 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 28 [category_count] => 10319 [category_description] => [cat_name] => News [category_nicename] => news [category_parent] => 0 ) [queried_object_id] => 28 [post__not_in] => Array ( ) )

Latest News

Read More