DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR ALBANIA (January 1993)


PART THREE -- STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER ONE - PARLIAMENT

Article 48

The Legislative power is exercised by Parliament which consists of one chamber, with not less than 140 members. At least one hundred members shall be elected by majority vote, but each district shall contain at least one constituency. The remaining memberships shall be distributed among parties in proportion to the votes cast for their slates in the first round.

Article 49

The Parliament shall be elected for a tern of four years. In case of a state of war or emergency, the tern can be extended only with approval of the President of the Republic. The election of a new Parliament shall be held not later than sisty days after either the expiration of the mandate of the previous Parliament or the day it is dissolved. The mandate of a Parliament shall continue until the first meeting of a new Parliament.

Article 50

Within twenty days after elections are concluded. Parliament shall be the first session by a decree of the President of the Republic. Parliament shall meet for tow sessions each year. The first session shall begin on the third Monday of January and the second session shall begin on the first Monday of September. Parliament shall meet in extraordinary session when called by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister or one-third of the Deputies.

Article 51

Parliament shall elect its Speaker and Vice-speaker. Parliament shall establish from its membership permanent and temporary committees. Decisions of Parliament shall require a majority vote of its members unless otherwise provided by this Constitution. Parliament shall adopt its own regulations.

Article 52

Meetings or Parliamet1t shall be public. A meeting of Parliament can be closed to the public upon a motion by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or one-fifth of the Deputies, which is approved by two-thirds of its Members.

Article 53

Every Albanian citizen who has resided in Albania at least the last two years and reached the age of twenty-one can be elected to Parliament.

Article 54

The status of Deputy shall be incompatible with any other public or private function. If a deputy is appointed minister, he shall be replaced in Parliament during the time he holds this office.

Article 55

A Deputy represents the whole people and is not bound by any obligatory mandate. A Deputy may not be responsible for his votes or for opinions expressed by him in Parliament. A Deputy may not be subject to criminal proceedings without the authorization of the Parliament. A Deputy may be detained without authorization when he is apprehended during the commission of a felony.

Article 56

Parliament may pass any law it finds necessary and proper to the exercise of power under this Constitution.

Article 57

The Government [Prime Minister] and any Deputy have the right to introduce draft laws into Parliament. Draft laws which bring about financial effect can be introduced only by the Government [Prime Minister].

Article 58

The draft law, shall be read at least twice, but not on the same day.

Article 59

Acts of Parliament shall be signed by the Speaker.

Article 60

A law is considered enacted when, within fifteen days after it is presented to the President of the Republic. he has not exercised his veto. A law enters in force no earlier than ten days after its publication in the official gazette, When Parliament so directs by a vote of two-thirds of its Members and the President of the Republic consents. a law passed in response to an emergency or war may enter into force immediately after it has been publicly announced. It must appear in the next issue of the official gazette.

Article 61

The President of tile Republic shall have the right to return the law to Parliament only once. The veto of the president can be overridden by a vote of no less than two-thirds of tile Members of Parliament.

Article 62

On behalf of the Government. the Prime Minister shall propose a budget law at the beginning o the autumn session which shall not close without approving it. If the budget law has not been approved by the beginning of the next fiscal year, the government may carry out the budget of the last year until a new budget is approved.

Article 63

Within the first session of the next year, the Prime Minister shall present to Parliament the consumptive budget of the last year. No expenditure shall be authorized except by law. Duties and taxes shall be determined by law and only for public purposes.

Article 64

Parliament shall have the power to ratify treaties which bring about changes in Legislation, grant amnesty, declare a state of war or emergency or call for a referendum. This power may only be exercised by law. During, a state of war or emergency, Parliament may by law abridge human rights except for those provided in articles 17 & I (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), 27 (right to life), 28 and 39 & 2 (right to human treatment), 30 (due process of law), 31 (freedom from ex post facto law), 33 (guarantee from self-incrimination). 34 (presumption of innocence) and 45 (equality before the law) of the Constitution.

CHAPTER TWO-THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Article 65

The President of the Republic is the Head of State. Every Albanian citizenship has resided in Albania at least ten years and reached the age of thirty-live can be elected President of the Republic.

Article 66

The President shall be elected by secret vote of an electoral body composed of the Members of Parliament and two representatives elected from each district as provided by law. The President shall be considered elected when a majority of all members of the electoral body have voted for him. If, in the first round, none of the candidates has obtained a majority, the candidate who obtains the most votes in a second round held within seven days. is considered elected. In the case of a tie, the older candidate is considered elected. The President shall take office after an oath in front of the electoral body as provided by law, but not before the previous President leaves. After the President takes office. the electoral body shall be dissolved.

Article 67

The President shall be elected to a term of five years, and may be re-elected only once. The new election of the president shall be held no later than thirty days before the mandate is over. The mandate of the President can be extended only when Parliament cannot convene because of war or natural disaster.

Article 68

The duty. of President of the Republic shall be incompatible with any other public, party or private function.

Article 69

The President of the Republic shall answer only. for felonies. Removal of the President for serious violations of the Constitution shall be proposed be .not less than one-fourth of the Deputies and shall be decided by no less than two-thirds of them.

Article 70

When resignation, discharge, death or serious incapacitation renders the President unable to exercise his duties, the Speaker of Parliament shall take his place and exercise his powers except the power to dissolve Parliament. In this case, the election of a new President shall take place within forty-five days.

Article 71

Upon a proposal by the Prime Minister. the President may dissolve Parliament.

Article 72

The President signs treaties and international agreements. Those subject to Article 64 must first be ratified by the Parliament. The President appoints the diplomatic representatives of Albania and receives foreign diplomatic representatives.

Article 73

The President has the power to pardon, to grant citizenship or permit its renunciation according to law, to give decorations and titles of honour, to promote military officers to general grade. and to fix the date of elections of Parliament, organs of local government and the Electoral Body.

Article 74

The President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. For the purpose of national defense. he may. create conclusive bodies. (Second version: The President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and heads the Council of Defense as created by law.)

Article 75

No Act of the President is valid without the counter signature of the Prime Minister or of the relevant minister except as provided in Articles 77 and 81.

Article 76

The President shall send to Parliament messages concerning important questions of state policy.

CHAPTER THREE-GOVERNMENT

Article 77

The Executive power shall be exercised by a government composed of a Prime Minister and ministers. The Prime Minister shall be elected by Parliament upon the nomination of the President of the Republic. If the proposed candidate is rejected twice. the President shall dissolve Parliament.

Article 78

Ministers are appointed and removed by the President upon the proposal or the Prime Minister. The Government takes office after an oath administered in front of Parliament as provided by law.

Article 79

Anyone qualified to be a Deputy can be appointed minister. The duty of minister is incompatible with any other private or public function. Ministers enjoy Parliamentary immunity and cannot be prosecuted without the authorization of the President of the Republic.

Article 80

The Prime Minister shall represent the Government. conduct the general policy of the state and control or supervise the different branches of public administration. The Prime Minister shall appoint one of the ministers as his deputy. The Prime Minister shall appoint other high executive officers as prescribed by law.

Article 81

If the Parliament, by a majority of its members, approves a motion of no confidence or rejects a motion of confidence, the President of the Republic, within ten days, either nominates a new Prime Minister or dissolves Parliament. In this case. all ministers must resign.

Article 82

The Government shall continue in office until the members of a new government have taken their oaths.

Article 83

When Parliament is not in session and cannot convene. the Government may issue decree laws, which must be approved by Parliament in the next session. Otherwise, they expire. A decree law can take effect only after it has been publicly announced and the President of the Republic has given his consent. The decree law must be published in the next issue of the official gazette.

Article 84

The Prime Minister shall be responsible and account to Parliament for the general policy of government, and each minister for his respective activity.

Article 85

The criminal prosecution is exercised by the General Prosecutor under the authority of the Minister of Justice. General Prosecutor and his deputy shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, upon the proposal of the Prime Minister.

CHAPTER FOUR-LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Article 86

The territory of the Republic of Albania shall be divided in municipalities and districts. Which shall be governed on decentralized basis. The organization and powers of local government shall be defined by law.

Article 87

Local government bodies shall have their property and budget. Financial resources and the way of using thereof as well as the obligations toward the state shall be established by law.

Article 88

Upon the proposal of Prime Minister. the President of the Republic may dissolve local government elected bodies.

CHAPTER FIVE-THE JUDICIARY

Article 89

The judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court and other courts established by law. The Supreme Court shall consist of nine judges. The Chief Justice shall be appointed by Parliament upon the nomination of the President of the Republic for five years and may be reappointed.

Article 90

Judges shall be appointed by Parliament upon the nomination of the President of the Republic. Their tenure may not be limited and their pay and benefits may not be reduced. Parliament may not remove them from office except for commission of a serious crime.

Article 91

Judges are forbidden from political activity. They can be removed for political activity only by an order of the Supreme Court.

Article 92

Every judge has the power, in a case properly within his competence, to apply directly the Constitution.

Article 93

Every judgment shall contain a statement of the law and facts on which it is based. Every court shall publish judgments and any opinions concurring and dissenting un1ess all parties agree otherwise.

Article 94

The trial of crimes shall be by jury, which shall be the judges of the law and the facts. A trial jury shall consist of no less than five persons.

Article 95

Parliament shall define the legal procedure for judicial cases, as well as the assignment of penalties, hut cannot resolve a specific case.

Article 96

Parliament may create specialized courts, but not ad hoc courts.

Article 97

No judge shall be liable for his decisions except with the approval of the Supreme Court. He shall not be responsible for his concurring or dissenting opinions.

Article 98

The judiciary shall have its own budget.

Article 99

Being a judge is incompatible with any state or private function.
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