Albania president asks people to topple country's left-wing government

Zoe Tidman
Gent Shkullaku / AFP via Getty Images

Albania’s president has appealed to his country to topple its left-wing government.

Ilir Meta – who the ruling Socialist Party has launched impeachment proceedings against - said he hoped people would gather in the capital on 2 March.

The president said he would sign a decree on that day against what he called a government “coup d’etat” being carried out through the justice system.

He accused the Albanian government of subverting the constitution and of having links to organised crime.

The Balkan nation has been enacting reforms in a bid to get membership talks going with the European Union, including one aimed at tackling bribery and ensuring judges and prosecutors are independent from politics.

Mr Meta has claimed this reform – approved three years ago – has failed.

The Socialist Party has launched impeachment proceedings against the president following his failed attempt to cancel last year’s local elections.

Mr Meta – who used to lead another left-wing party - argued that a boycott by centre-right opposition parties made the vote undemocratic and that he worried a violent civil confrontation would erupt.

Election authorities overruled his attempt and the Socialists won most of the elections, now dominating parliament.

Last year, the opposition boycotted the parliament and the vote, accusing the government of vote-rigging and having connections to organised crime.

A report is expected in March that is likely to recommend Mr Meta being kicked out of his position.

Additional reporting by Associated Press