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Albanian opposition asks for early elections
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08:55, July 12, 2007

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Albanian opposition leader on Wednesday called for early elections in Albania after two rounds of voting in the parliament failed to select a new president for the country.

"I am ready for early elections," Edi Rama, chairman of the Socialist Party, told the Socialist Party's grassroots meeting in the country's northern city Skoder, adding that early elections is the only way to solve the political situation in Albania.

Rama also called on opposition parties to unite for early elections, saying that leaders who have no sense of cooperation should leave the political scene, ATA, Albania's official news agency, reported.

Albanian parliament has failed twice to elect a new president, keeping open the prospects of early general elections in the tiny western Balkan country.

The Socialist Party-led opposition coalition, run by Rama, boycotted Tuesday's second round of voting in the parliament in protest over the ruling Democrats' decision not to support a consensus candidate proposed by the opposition.

Bamir, Topi, deputy leader of the governing Democratic Party- led coalition of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, won 74 votes, while Fatos Nano, former prime minister and Socialist Party leader, rallied 5 votes behind him.

Albanian president is chosen by a three-fifths majority in the parliament, or 84 of the legislature's 140 seats, where the Democratic Party-led governing coalition hold 80 seats, four votes short of the total needed to win the post.

If the parliament fails to elect a president in five rounds of voting, it is dissolved and the country goes to early general elections within 60 days, according to the country's constitution.

Albanian President Alfred Moisiu's five-year term will expire on July 24.

Source: Xinhua

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