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Court set to rule on the impeachment of Albania's president Ilir Meta

Albanian President Ilir Meta speaks during a 2019 news conference in Tirana
Albanian President Ilir Meta speaks during a 2019 news conference in Tirana Copyright AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File
Copyright AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File
By Euronews with AP
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To impeach or not to impeach? Court set to decide president's fate.

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Albania's Constitutional Court is deciding whether President Ilir Meta will be impeached.

MPs voted to discharge the president from office last June after a parliamentary investigation found that he had violated 16 constitutional articles.

Meta was also accused of inciting bias and violence against the ruling Socialist party ahead of April's parliamentary election.

A total of 104 lawmakers voted in favour of impeaching him, while seven were against the motion.

The court's verdict is the final step in deciding whether Meta will be ousted or allowed to remain in office until his term ends in July.

A majority of at least five court members must vote to confirm the impeachment process.

It was not immediately clear when the court would issue its ruling, a process that could take a month.

Meta -- a former Socialist Prime Minister -- has condemned the investigation and argues that the parliament vote was illegal. The Albanian President has refused to attend the hearing and is represented by his lawyers.

In an interview with Euronews Albania last week, Meta confirmed he would boycott the court and says he "does not trust" their authority.

The president has argued that the Socialists did not have the power to call the investigation into his conduct because they had not yet convened after the 2021 election.

Albania’s presidency is largely ceremonial but carries some authority over the judiciary and the armed forces. The role is also generally understood to be apolitical, but Meta has regularly clashed with the country's government by blocking ministerial nominees and vetoing legislation.

The Socialist Party ended up winning 74 of parliament’s 140 seats in last year's election to earn a third four-year term.

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