President provides reasons to cancel local elections, as majority starts proceedings to fire him

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 10, 2019 10:21

President provides reasons to cancel local elections, as majority starts proceedings to fire him

Story Highlights

  • Speaking of the situation created after the opposition's decision to leave the parliament and later to not participate in the local elections, as well as the lack of the Constitutional Court, Meta said it is all very disturbing and seriously jeopardizes the democratic stability of Albania.

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TIRANA, June 10 – Albanian President Ilir Meta gave a long explanation of the constitutional and legal reasons that led him to the decision to cancel June 30 as the local elections date, a move which he warned on Saturday evening and signed today in public during the broadcast of a long statement.

From the outset,  Meta stated that “according to the Constitution, without a date set by the President of the Republic, general elections or elections for local government bodies can not be held.”

Speaking of the situation created after the opposition’s decision to leave the parliament and later to not participate in the local elections, as well as the lack of the Constitutional Court, Meta said it is all very disturbing and seriously jeopardizes the democratic stability of Albania.

“In assessing the current situation of the country and the hate language used by the political parties, I can assess as the President of the Republic, there is a risk that Albania will go towards the unpredictable escalation of social tension that can cause uncontrollable consequences. As the Head of State and representative of the unity of the people, I consider this moment as a serious threat to public security, democratic stability, calm and peace in the country,” Meta said.

Continuing on the constitutional arguments, Meta stated that “the organization of free and democratic elections is the cornerstone of a democratic society. In this regard, the realization of elections for local government bodies without the participation of the opposition is problematic in the democratic aspect, because it prevents Albanian citizens from choosing among their competing alternatives their representatives at the local level.”

According to him, “this situation becomes even more absurd, referring to the fact that in these elections in more than half of the local government units only one candidate competes  to be elected as mayor, while for the other part the competition includes proposed candidates by a political force and registered with the CEC beyond legal deadlines.

On the other hand, listing his arguments, the Head of State observes that “the conduct of elections in the context of a tense political situation can result not only in the non-participation in elections of about half the voters, but creates the risk of a conflictual civil society, which poses a serious threat to the life and health of citizens, the democratic stability of the country, the unity of the people and the constitutional order.”

Meta also focused on the political conflict created in the country, the protests and clashes that occurred between demonstrators and police, as well as the opposition’s threats that it will not allow the local elections to take place altogether.

“If election day becomes a battle of power between the majority and opposition supporters, or in a battle between citizens and law enforcement bodies, the elections would lose their value in a democratic society, and they would go from being an essential means of guaranteeing a democratic society to a danger towards the democratic coexistence and unity of the people,” Meta added.

Regarding the fact that the postponement of the election date risks leaving local government without leaders, as current mandates expire, Meta explains that “the cancellation of the election date and its postponement beyond the electoral period set by the Electoral Code, in the conditions when it comes to defending constitutional values ​​and principles, the basis for the democratic functioning of the state and institutions, is not a constraint on the constitutional viewpoint.”

Meanwhile, the SP announced today it has decided to initiate the procedures for Meta’s dismissal. It is the first time that in Albania, the parliament will take such an extreme step, following Meta’s decision to cancel the date of local elections scheduled for June 30.

At the conclusion of the party’s presidency meeting, the Minister for Relations with Parliament Elisa Spiropali stated that with his decision, the President has “committed a brutal act against the republic.”

Spiropali explained that the procedures for Meta’s dismissal “will begin immediately in Thursday’s parliamentary session. It is our political duty to protect the Constitution, the constitutional order and the Republic.”

Procedures for the dismissal of the President start at the request of one-fourth of the MPs, or 36 of them, while the decision should be taken with at least two-thirds or 93 votes, which the majority does not have. However, even if the parliament vote is achieved, the last word belongs to the Constitutional Court, which is currently out of function, with only one out of its nine members.

“In spite of this, it does not deprive us of the right to start the proceedings,” Spiropali said.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 10, 2019 10:21