17 February 2020 Statement of the President of the Republic, H.E. Ilir Meta about the anti-constitutional passing of the legal amendaments regarding the swearing in of the Constitutional judges
On the process of the swearing in of the Constitutional Judges.
On December 30, 2019, the Speaker of the Assembly of Albania forwarded the request to the Venice Commission no. 4351 prot, dated 30.12.2019, for giving an opinion on the process of appointing the judges of the Constitutional Court.
Three of the questions of the Albanian Assembly to the Venice Commission are:
– Can the President not organize the swearing-in ceremony of a constitutional judge when he / she is considered appointed in terms of the law? In this case, is a constitutional judge’s right to exercise his or her position considered infringing?
– If the President does not organize the constitutional judge’s swearing-in ceremony, given the solemn swearing-in office as an act, what mechanism can be used to unlock such a situation?
– Is the swearing-in in office by written document a form to fulfill the oath of office, to begin the exercising of office, in a situation where a judge has been appointed to office for the effect of law?
– What could be the solutions according to the best international standards to avoid cases where the body in charge of ensuring the swearing-in ceremony refuses to call the official for oath taking?
In this letter, the Assembly of Albania expresses to the Venice Commission that it remains awaiting the required opinion.
But what happened next?!
Based on the request of the Albanian Assembly and the President of the Republic, the Venice Commission confirmed to the Assembly that on 13-14 February 2020 a delegation of this Commission will visit Tirana on a fact-finding mission and will meet with representatives of the Assembly to discuss on this issue.
The Assembly of Albania, in the most irresponsible, treacherous and immoral manner, while the members of the Venice Commission delegation had arrived in Tirana, only hours before meeting with them, on the 12th of February 2020, late in the afternoon, votes in the plenary session the Draft Law “On some Additions and Amendments to Law No. 8577/2000“ On the Organization and Functioning of the Constitutional Court ”.
Exactly with law no. 14, dated 12 February 2020, amends that section of the law that regulated the constitutional process of swearing in office of the Constitutional Judge, giving itself the answer to the questions it was expected to receive from the Venice Commission.
The content of this law voted so urgently by the Assembly, flagrantly violated Article 129 of the Constitution and with it all the constitutional principles of the rule of law and the separation and balance of powers.
The voting of this law is another coup of the majority on the Constitution, with the sole purpose of controlling in a mafia style the process of the appointment of the Judges of the Constitutional Court.
This law aims to bring this process under the political control of the Socialist Party and to undermine the integrity of every new member of the Constitutional Court, giving the message that any appointment to this Court will go through the test of the political loyalty.
This will never be accepted by the President of the Republic.
This action by the majority, not to wait for the Venice Commission to give an opinion on the matter, is a grave insult to the bodies of the Council of Europe as a whole, the Venice Commission in particular, and the Embassies and Ambassadors who were in support of the majority, to demand that the Venice Commission be called on the matter.
By this action the majority has invited an honorable Commission, but on the other hand has invalidated their visit, delegitimizing the importance of this Commission.
As the President of the Republic, as a representative of the unity of the people and as the Head of State, I apologize to the Venice Commission, that was abused by the majority in function of carrying out the coup, and I assure them that the Republic of Albania, despite experiencing the most difficult situation of state capture on the continent in which we live, will not accept the installation of a coup by turning the most important institution of justice, the Constitutional Court, into an unconstitutional police of the PPP (Party Police Propaganda) state.
For these reasons I will be attending the Venice Commission’s plenary session, so that the whole of Europe becomes aware of the coup d’état taking place in Albania.