Albania's parliament to vote on ousting president

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Albanian President Ilir Meta speaks during a news conference in capital Tirana, Albania on Monday June 10, 2019. Albania's president says he has canceled upcoming municipal elections fearing a “social tension.” Ilir Meta said holding elections without the opposition would be “undemocratic” and would “freeze the country’s integration.” (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has started to debate a no-confidence motion against President Ilir Meta after he canceled upcoming municipal elections.

Thursday's no-confidence vote is expected to take place after five hours of debate.

Meta canceled the June 30 municipal elections fearing tensions would rise if they were held, because the opposition was boycotting them and threatening to prevent the voting from taking place.

The governing Socialists need 94 votes to oust Meta which they don't have in the 140-seat parliament.

Even if they get the numbers, the Constitutional Court makes the final decision. The court has been dysfunctional for about a year after most of its judges were fired.

Prime Minister Edi Rama insists the municipal elections will go ahead as scheduled.

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