MP substitutions could lead to stronger ruling coalition
TIRANA, Dec. 19 – The recent appeal of the Prosecutor General to dismiss two members of the parliament and a mayor from office for hiding past criminal records has raised hopes among the ruling majority to increase its numbers in parliament.
The opposition will lose one MP and the ruling coalition will have 90 members of parliament.
MP Dashamir Tahiri, accused of failing to declare criminal convictions from the past was elected as representative of the Party for Justice Integration and Unity in the parliamentary election of 2013. However, when the party became part of the Socialist-led coalition, Tahiri decided to be part of the opposition coalition led by the Democratic Party.
If the Central Election Commission decides to accept the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office and dismiss Dashamir Tahiri from office, then the numbers of the ruling coalition would increase by one MP as the Party for Justice Integration and Unity representative from the district of Vlora would be elected as parliamentarian.
The most likely candidate to enter the parliament is Edmond Zejno, second in the party list representatives for the region of Vlora.
Experts estimate that Party for Justice Integration and Unity will have 6 representatives whereas Socialist Party will have 60 MPs followed by Socialist Movement for Integration with 20 representatives. Four other MPs such as Tom Doshi, Armando Prenga, Mirela Ferracaku and Mhill Fufi also vote in favor of the ruling majority.
If the Central Election Commission decides to remove the mandate of SMI lawmaker Shkelqim Selami, than he will be replaced by either Flamur Celaj or Katina Gogo that will continue to represent the district of Vlora in parliament.
Officials from the Central Election Commission have announced that regardless of the recommendation made by the Prosecutor General, it is up to the elections body to make a ruling on the dismissal of the MPs.
From the moment the General Prosecutor deposits an official request, the Central Election Commission has a 10 days deadline to make a decision on the mandates of Dashamir Tahiri, Shkelqim Selami and Elvis Rroshi.
The U.S. Ambassador to Tirana Donald Lu welcomed the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office to suggest the dismissal from office of the high rank officials for hiding past criminal records.
Lu said that United States “encourages political parties in Albania to remove representatives that are corrupt or involved in criminal activities.”