31 Aug 16
Albania MPs Back Vetting Judges and Prosecutors
Albania’s parliament has adopted a law on introducing vetting for judges and prosecutors, despite opposition claims that it will result in a ‚witch hunt‘.
|Albanian Parliament while discussing ‚vetting‘ law. Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra|
With 88 votes for and one abstention out of 140, Albania’s parliament on Tuesday passed a Law on Reassessment of Judges and Prosecutors, known as the „vetting“ law.
„Albanians have got confirmation that the will of majority is firm to stop the lack of justice in this country,“ Edi Rama, the Prime Minister, said after the vote, criticising opposition MPs who did not back the law.
The law will introduce background checks on Albanian judges and prosecutors related to their professional preparation, moral integrity and level of independence from organised crime, corruption and political power.
Parliament is due to adopt six more laws to pave the way for the implementation of constitutional changes adopted unanimously on July 22.
However, the opposition led by Democratic Party boycotted the plenary session as the draft law was about to be voted on, complaining that their 28 amendments had not been taken into consideration.
The former Prime Minister, Democrat MP Sali Berisha, accused the ruling majority of planning to use the new law for a „witch hunt“.
„This vote diminishes the reform that we passed [earlier] by consensus … You are ridiculous,“ Berisha said in a heated debate with Rama.
The opposition further claimed that the formula of electing members for the Independent Commission of Qualification – tasked with vetting justice officials – is biased.
The commission will be in charge of the checking process, along with the College of Appeal and the International Monitoring Operation…..
“The cast of corrupted and incriminated justice members took a very clear message today. The will of the majority was confirmed! That will is to give this country the justice that has been denied for so many years! We are ending a shameful part of the history that stained Albania and demoralized our citizens for years, the history of justice being bought as common good”, Rama said after the voting of the vetting law, which is the core of the justice reform.