President Meta accuses PM of influence over judicial reform

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 26, 2020 13:08

President Meta accuses PM of influence over judicial reform

TIRANA, May 26 - President Ilir Meta has accused Prime Minister Edi Rama of purposely trying to destabilize the political order in the country and influencing the judicial reform, claiming he represents the Serbian lobby in the U.S. Meta published several texts messages of a foreign diplomat, whose identity was not disclosed publicly, which referred to the PM's involvement in the Constitutional Court appointments.

Meta also stated that his role would become more institutional and therefore meetings with Prime Minister Edi Rama, Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha and ambassadors Yuri Kim and Luigi Soreca would be well-documented and held with witnesses involved.

Destabilizing the country

President Meta described the government's decision to demolish the Theater as hasty and aimed at "destabilizing the country." He blamed Prime Minister Rama whom he called a representative of the Serbian lobby in the United States who is interested in internal clashes in the country.

"Rama represents the Serbian lobby in the US. I say it with conviction that time will tell. The Serbian and pro-Russian lobbies in Washington are interested in civil strife and destabilization in Albania. I have a lot of evidence and documents that I will publish when the time is right," Meta said.

However, the President said he had no intentions to dissolve the Parliament. According to him, such a thing will not happen until there is an actual opposition that can govern the country.

"Manipulation of the judicial reform"

President Meta published text messages sent by an unknown foreign diplomat,which imply Rama's influence over the judicial reform. In the messages, the diplomat says that the EU and U.S. officials do not support Meta's opinion rejecting the candidacy of Arta Vorpsi in the Constitutional Court, as she was "appointed by virtue of the unblocking mechanism."

However, the text message further reads that Rama will not block the candidacy of Marsida Xhaferllari in the next list for members of the Constitutional Court. According to Meta this is clear proof of the power that Rama has over the judicial reform and it is an example of how some internationals are conducting the Justice Reform in the country.

Last week, the US ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim warned against the obstruction of the justice reform in the country. US Ambassador Yuri Kim tweeted that she hoped "there is no truth to rumors of a back-room deal to kill justice reform", adding that that "the reform must go on, despite it being painful, slow and imperfect."

The clash between the parties began in November of last year, after Meta decided not to appoint one of the candidates for the vacancy to be filled by the Head of State, arguing that he had already filled a vacancy and it was up to Parliament to proceed with electing a candidate from the lists. 

According to the majority, Meta failed to abide by the 30-day deadline set by the law, and as a result, the top-ranked candidate Arta Vorpsi was automatically named. 

The parliament followed with the election of two candidates, while Meta subsequently decreed from his list Marsida Xhaferllari who was invited to take the oath, along with the two candidates elected by parliament.

Meta spoke about an attempt by the majority to take over his powers and launched a fierce battle against the Chairman of the Justice Appointments Council, Ardian Dvorani, whom he described as the cause of the created situation and a man who had worked on behalf of the ruling majority.

President Ilir Meta later addressed the Venice Commission with a lengthy request and the latter responded that "the president's actions regarding the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court are generally consistent, with a reasonable interpretation of the Constitution. The actions taken by the president in response to the manner in which the JAC operates are justified."

The Venice's legal experts said the issue of appointing members of the Constitutional Court is a very complicated process, for which there are different interpretations. According to the Venice Commission, the way it was acted on, created "a situation in which all appointments, except for Mr. Muçi's appointment, were potentially made in an unconstitutional way."

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 26, 2020 13:08