Socialist MP denies hearsay that majority has proposed Vali Bizhga as presidential candidate

Socialist Party (SP) deputies still keep secret the names they have submitted as proposals for the new President of Albania, according to a Socialist lawmaker.

Majority MP Petro Koci denied that most of his colleagues have supported the name of Vali Bizhga as presidential candidate in a talk show on Klan TV on Sunday.

“It seems to me a non-sense that in fact is not worth commenting on. I do not know who has been proposed the most. I believe that this is a serious process, where all members of the parliamentary group have had the opportunity to propose three, two, one or no candidacy in that process of filling out a simple form,” said Koci.

Asked if he had submitted any proposal for President, Koci said the following: “My envelope was empty, I did not propose any, it was my choice. I thought everyone else had the opportunity to make dignified proposals.”

The new president can be elected with 84 votes in the first three rounds and then if there is no agreement between the political parties, he can be elected by a simple majority, 71 votes in a 140-member Parliament. Prime Minister Edi Rama has ruled out the possibility of the new head of state being from the socialist parliamentary group, while former Democrat PM Sali Berisha has ruled out any possibility of voting for Rama’s candidate.

The mandate of the current president, Ilir Meta ends on 24 July this year, and he has not submitted his candidacy but also the majority rejects any idea of this sort as it tried to dismiss him two months ago but the Constitutional Court rejected the decision of the Parliament. Meta has said he would get involved in politics in the party which he has founded and become head of the Socialist Movement for Integration.