Albanian politicians postpone parliamentary vote to June 25

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

Albania's political parties have reached a compromise on next month's parliamentary election following intensive mediation from a senior USA official.

Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha speaks to his supporters during a protest against the government in front of Prime Minister Edi Rama's office, in Tirana, Albania, May 13, 2017. That will likely result in the postponement of the general election scheduled for June 18.

Rama and Basha agreed to let the opposition control seven ministries by appointing technocrats, including the interior ministry.

After the long hour meeting between two main political leaders at parliament's presidency, both Rama and Basha told reporters that the details of the agreement they reached would be disclosed within 24 hours.

Previously efforts by European and USA officials had failed to convince the Democrats change their position that they would not take part in the June 18 parliamentary election, fearing Rama's Cabinet would manipulate the vote.

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"Everything we stood for these three months is accomplished".

The agreement could also revive Albania's stalled effort to joining the European Union. Meanwhile the head of majority and opposition greeted each other with a handshake.

The opposition boycotted parliament in February and has refused to register for the election, claiming Rama's Cabinet will manipulate the vote.

"We eagerly look forward to an election with the participation of all of Albania's political parties", he said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which is to monitor Albania's election, also hailed the agreement.

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