Albania fails to elect president

The Albanian parliament failed to elect a new president yesterday (19 April) after Prime Minister Edi Rama’s governing Socialists decided not to offer a candidate in the first round of voting.

“We did not offer any candidate in order to show our will (to have) dialogue with the opposition on a new president so as to have the consensus of all political forces of Albania,” parliamentary speaker Ilir Meta told the assembly.

The Albanian opposition has been boycotting parliament since mid-February calling for a transitional government to prepare free and fair elections.

Albanian opposition to boycott parliament, defying EU appeal

Albania’s opposition leader announced a boycott of parliament yesterday (22 February), defying an appeal from the European Union not to disrupt parliamentary approval of judiciary reforms vital to starting EU accession talks.

According to the constitution, a candidate could be elected president with the support of 84 out of 140 MPs, a majority already enjoyed by the ruling coalition.

Another round of voting was scheduled for Thursday (20 April).

If a president, who has a largely ceremonial role, is not elected after five rounds of voting, the legislature should be dissolved and new elections called.

Parliamentary elections are due on 18 June, but the opposition has already threatened to boycott them.

Albanian opposition threatens to boycott elections

Albania’s opposition warned yesterday (4 April) it might boycott June legislative elections if their demands for fair elections and for Prime Minister Edi Rama to resign are not met.

The opposition’s boycott of parliament has already blocked some reforms, including an important one to the judiciary required by the European Union for Albania’s progress towards full membership.

A NATO member since 2009, Albania is a candidate for EU membership and hopes to open negotiations by the end of the year.

Albania: At EU’s door 71 years after founding of brutal Hoxhaist regime

Albania is one of the many countries lining up to join the EU. Today marks the 71st anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania and the beginning of what would be horrible purges of non-communists, write Alex Fiuza and Steffen Kudella.

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