Albania President Wins Constitutional Battle to Stay in Office

Albania's President, Ilir Meta, will end his mandate in office after winning a Constitutional Court battle with the ruling Socialist Party, which dismissed him via a vote in parliament nine months ago.

In a verdict on Wednesday, the Court said the accusations made against Meta "do not constitute serious violation of the constitution".

After Edi Rama's Socialists won the general elections in April last year, they accused Meta of interfering in the electoral campaign and violating the constitution.

They accused Meta of breaking the electoral silence, disturbing the public peace, inciting hatred and violence, endangering lives, interfering with and intimidating public institutions, and of damaging the reputation of the country and its relations with strategic partners.

A parliamentary inquiry set up to investigate the alleged violations resulted in MPs voting to dismiss him on June 9. The case then went with the Constitutional Court and on Wednesday night it concluded that, "the facts presented do not constitute serious violations of the constitution".

Presidential spokesman Tedi Blushi said the verdict contained "zero surprises for the President. This case should not have started".

Afrim Krasniqi, of the Tirana-based think tank the Institute for Political Studies, welcomed the "maturity and independence" of the ruling.

"The President has not won, but his actions were not a serious violation of the constitution. Parliament has not lost but its political use was rejected. Albania needs a president, parliament and Constitutional Court with integrity and accountability," Krasniqi wrote on Twitter.

Meta will keep his post until July 24, which is when his five-year term ends.

He had refused to participate in...

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