Party leaders in Albania under pressure over justice reform

US and EU Ambassadors stage showdown demanding fast approval of the much delayed constitutional reform that aims to clear out country’s justice system from corruption and political interference.

Two most important ambassadors in Albania, Donald Lu of US and Romana Vlahutin, head of the EU Delegation in Tirana, pelted party leaders with strongly worded remarks, demanding fast approval of the Justice Reform, a massive constitutional change that aims to clear country’s creeping justice system from corruption and political dependence.

After delivering the harshest remarks in years against the Albania political leaders on Wednesday, Ambassador Lu continued pressuring them on Thursday, while parties exchanged verbal attacks accusing each-other for blocking the reform.

According to the local media, the enormous pressure from Vlahutin and Lu could bring fast approval of the reform, possibly next week.

The reform has been in the making during the last two years. It aims to diminish the chances for politically motivated appointments in the justice system and to clear out the current corpus of judges and prosecutors by creating a temporary Vetting Commission with power to control and dismiss judges deemed incompetent or corrupt.

Lack of fair justice system and juridical risks had been one of the main concerns for scores of potential foreign investors in the country. Over the years, the situation has deteriorated reaching a very low point currently. Last week, a Judge was arrested by the police in Tirana for corruption.

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