ALBANIAN CONSTITUTION - Adopted on: 29 April 1991


Chapter II The Supreme Organs of State Power

[Part] A The People's Assembly

Article 15 [Legislative Power]

1) The People's Assembly is the highest organ of state power and the only law-making organ.
2) The People's Assembly exerts sovereignty in the name of the people and state, in the forms and boundaries foreseen by this law.

Article 16 [Competences]

The People's Assembly has the following main competences:
1. It defines the main directions of internal and foreign policy of the state.
2. It approves and changes the Constitution and the laws, decides definitely upon the reconciliation of the laws with the Constitution, and makes their interpretation.
3. It approves the economic and social draft programs of the country's development and the synthetic indices, as well as the state budget.
4. It decides on the partial and general mobilization, the state of emergency, and the state of war in case of armed aggression against the Republic of Albania or when this is necessary to fulfill obligations deriving from the international treaties.
5. It ratifies and denounces: the treaties of political character; the treaties or agreements of military character; the treaties or agreements which have to do with the borders of the Republic of Albania; the treaties or agreements which have to do with the fundamental rights and duties of the citizens; the treaties from which derive financial obligations for the state; treaties of agreements leading to changes to the legislation; treaties and other agreements which foresee that their ratification or denunciation be done by the People's Assembly.
6. It grants amnesty.
7. It decides on people's referendums
8. It elects and discharges the president of the Republic of Albania.
9. It elects, appoints, and discharges the Supreme Court, the attorney general, and his substitutes.
10. It controls the activity of the Council of Ministers and the attorney's general office.
11. It controls the activity of RTV, ATA, and other official media of public information, depending on it. The status of these organs is set by law.
12. It defines the administrative-territorial structure of the country.
13. It decides on the creation or dissolution of the ministries or other organs equal to them.

Article 17 [Election, Term]

(1) The People's Assembly is made up of 250 deputies. The People's Assembly is elected for a 4 year period.
(2) The People's Assembly convenes the first session no later than two months from the day it is elected.
(3) The elections to the People's Assembly are held no later than 3 months from the day its mandate expires.
(4) In case of war or state of emergency the People's Assembly can prolong its activity beyond the fixed limit as long as the war or the state of emergency continues.

Article 18 [Presidency, Organization]

(1) The People's Assembly elects its Presidency, which is made up of the chairman and two deputy chairmen.
(2) The activity of the People's Assembly and its Presidency is conducted according to the regulation it has adopted.

Article 19 [Sessions]

1) The People's Assembly convenes its sessions no less than 4 times a year.
2) The sessions of the People's Assembly convene on the decision of its Presidency. The Presidency convenes the session of the People's Assembly when this is also required by the president of the Republic, the Council of Ministers, or by one fourth of the deputies.
3) The meetings of the People's Assembly start when the majority of the deputies is present.
4) The meetings of the People's Assembly are open, except in special cases when the People's Assembly decides otherwise.

Article 20 [Commissions]

1) The People's Assembly elects from its ranks permanent and temporary commissions.
2) In its first session the People's Assembly elects a commission to examine the mandates of the deputies. At the proposal of this commission, the People's Assembly confirms or annuls the mandates of the deputies.
3) It is incumbent upon the permanent commissions to examine the draft laws and normative decrees of the president of the Republic, to follow and control the activity of the ministries and other state organs according to the respective sectors, and to forward problems to the People's Assembly or the Council of Ministers. The temporary commissions are created for certain questions.

Article 21 [Duties of Deputies]

It is the duty of the deputy to the People's Assembly in his activity to serve the people and homeland conscientiously. The rights and duties of the deputy are defined by law.

Article 22 [Immunity, Information, Indemnity]

1) The deputy to the People's Assembly enjoys immunity.
2) The deputy cannot be prevented from accomplishing his duties and obtaining the data which are not state secret.
3) The deputy cannot be controlled, detained, arrested, or penally prosecuted without the consent of the People's Assembly. The deputy may be detained without the consent of the People's Assembly only in cases when he commits an apparent and grave crime.
4) The deputy has no legal responsibility for the acts he makes and the stands he adopts while performing his duty as deputy or for the vote he casts.

Article 23

1) The law-making initiative belongs to the president of the Republic, the Council of Ministers, to every deputy, as well as to a group of 20,000 nationals enjoying the right of voting.
2) The laws and other acts of the People's Assembly besides the constitutional ones, are considered approved, when voted by the majority of the present deputies, but no less than one third of deputies.
3) The laws are declared no later than 15 days following the approval and enter into force 15 days after being published in the official gazette, except for the cases when foreseen differently by the laws as well as the cases of organic laws.

[Part] B The President of the Republic of Albania

Article 24 [Head of State, Representation]

The president of the Republic of Albania is the head of state and represents the whole unity of the people.

Article 25 [Election]

1) The president of the Republic of Albania is elected by the People's Assembly having no less than two candidates for 5 years, by a secret ballot, and by a two-thirds majority of the votes of all the deputies. In case the required majority is not ensured in the first ballot, a second voting is held in which the president of the Republic is elected by the absolute majority all the deputies' votes.
2) The candidate for president is proposed to the People's Assembly by a group of no less than
30 deputies.
3) In case there are more than two candidates for the post of the president of the Republic, in the second voting the two candidates that have won the greatest number of votes in the first voting have the right to be put up. The candidate that wins the absolute majority of all the deputies' votes is considered elected.

Article 26 [Eligibility, Incompatibility]

1) As President of the Republic may be elected every Albanian national who has reached the age of 40 and fulfills the conditions to be elected as deputy.
2) The president of the Republic, after being elected by the People's Assembly, takes the oath before it.
3) The election of the president of the Republic is conducted no later than 30 days before the mandate of the former president of the Republic expires.
4) The same person cannot be elected president of the Republic more than twice in succession.
5) In case the president is elected from among the ranks of the deputies, he gives up the mandate of the deputy.
6) The function of the president is irreconcilable with any other function, besides those foreseen by this law.

Article 27 [Discharge]

The president of the Republic is discharged or released before the expiry of his mandate only when:
a) He has committed the crime of betrayal to the homeland or has violated this law.
b) His health condition prevents him from performing the duties.
c) He has put up his resignation on his free will.

Article 28 [Competences]

The following are the main competences of the president of the Republic:
1. He guarantees the observation of this law, other laws, and rights and freedoms of citizens.
2. He convenes the first session of the new legislature of the People's Assembly.
3. He fixes the date of elections to the People's Assembly and local power organs.
4. He declares the laws and referendums decided upon by the People's Assembly.
5. He enjoys the right, within 15 days since the approval of the law by the People's Assembly, to put it up for reexamination by the People's Assembly only once.
6. He appoints the chairman of the Council of Ministers and accepts his resignation.
7. Upon the proposal of the chairman of the Council of Ministers, between the two sessions of the People's Assembly, he appoints, discharges, or releases separate members of the government. The president of the Republic submits this decree for approval to the People's Assembly in its nearest meeting.
8. He appoints and discharges upon the proposal of the chairman of the Council of Ministers leaders of other central institutions.
9. Having the opinion of the chairman of the Council of Ministers and the chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, he may dissolve the People's Assembly prior to the expiry of the legislature, when its composition does not allow the performance of the functions of the assembly itself and makes impossible the country's running. On this occasion, the elections to the People's Assembly are held again no later than 45 days since the day of dissolution. The president cannot exercise this competence over the last six month period of his mandate.
10. He signs international treaties, ratifies and denounces those not examined by the People's Assembly itself.
11. He appoints and discharges the diplomatic representatives upon the proposal of the chairman of the Council of Ministers.
12. He accepts the credentials and letters of call of the diplomatic representatives of foreign states.
13. He endorses the requirements for granting or casting off Albanian nationality.
14. He exercises the right of pardon.
15. He awards decorations and honorable titles.
16. He grants the right for political asylum.
17. When it is impossible for the People's Assembly to convene, he declares the partial and general mobilization as well as the state of emergency. In such cases the declaration is submitted for approval to the People's Assembly within five days.
18. When the convocation of the People's Assembly is impossible, he declares the state of war in case of armed aggression against the Republic of Albania.
19. He issues decrees of individual character and decisions, and in urgent cases issues even decrees of normative character, which are submitted for approval to the People's Assembly in its nearest session.

Article 29 [Enforcing Presidential Acts]

The acts issued by the president of the Republic on the extension of competences foreseen in the items 10, 11 and 19 of Article 28, assume juridical power and are countersigned, accordingly, by the chairman of the Council of Ministers or by the respective minister or the persons equaled with them.

Article 30 [Vacancy]

1) When the seat of the president of the Republic is vacant for any reason whatsoever, his competences are exercised temporarily by the chairman of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, excluding those foreseen in the items 5, 6, 7, 9 and 19 of Article 28.
2) The election of the president of the Republic takes place no later than 15 days from the day when the seat of the president has remained vacant.

Article 31 [Liability]

1) The president of the Republic does not respond for the acts committed during his function, the cases of treason to the homeland or violation of this law excluded.
2) In such cases, the question of responsibility might be discussed at the People's Assembly at the request of no less than one fourth of the deputies. The respective decision is adopted by secret ballot with a majority of two thirds of the deputies.

Article 32 [Armed Forces, Council of Defense]

1) The president of the Republic of Albania is general commander of the Armed Forces and chairman of the Council of Defense.
2) The Council of Defense is created to direct, organize, and mobilize all the forces and the country's resources for the Defense of the homeland.
3) The composition of the Council of Defense is assigned by the People's Assembly on the proposal of the chairman of the Council of Defense.


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