News 10 Feb 12

Albania Nationalist Leader Resigns from Top Justice Job

The head of the nationalist group Red and Black Alliance, Kreshnik Spahiu, resigned on Friday as deputy chairman of Albania's High Council of Justice in the face of a parliamentary investigation into his political activity.

Besar Likmeta
Kreshnik Spahiu during a political rally of the Red & Black Alliance

Spahiu said he had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court over the legality of the parliamentary investigation and was resigning to open the way “for an impartial ruling” from the court.

“I am resigning my post because this is not a personal battle but an institutional one,” he said.

The ruling Democratic Party launched a probe in mid-January against Sphiu, arguing that he had “discredited his constitutional role”.

Spahiu has emerged over the past year as the head of the nationalist Red and Black Alliance, an organisation best known for its opposition to the recently held population census. The group claimed questions seeking voluntary declarations of nationality could artificially increase the size of the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania.

Spahiu has previously hinted that the Red and Black Alliance could be transformed into a political party.

The Democrats fear that the nationalist movement could cost them votes on the right of the political spectrum in parliamentary elections due next year.

Spahiu was nominated to the High Council of Justice four years ago with the backing of the Democratic Party.

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