Albania Parties Fail to Elect ‘Consensus’ President

The last chance for Albania's main opposition Democratic Party to propose names for the new President - who must be elected in June - expired on Sunday, when it failed to do so, in the third round of the election.

The date for a fourth session is yet to be decided. Democratic Party parliamentarians did not show up to vote in the parliament.

The head of the ruling Socialist Party's parliamentary group, Taulant Balla, on Monday said that his party "will not leave the country without a president", adding, however, that it was still open to dialogue "with anybody who will share the responsibility for electing the president".

Balla added that some names had been identified that could fulfill the conditions, but did not mention specific ones.

Enkelejd Alibeaj, head of the Democratic Party's parliamentary group, accused the Socialists of breaking the agreement between the parties on the election process.

"We lost a chance to give Albania and Albanians an institution that would had the legitimacy among [all] the parties," he said.

According to the constitution, a new president is proposed and elected over five rounds. The first three rounds need the support of 84 out of 140 MPs. The last two need only more than half of the MPs.

Prime Minister Edi Rama's governing Socialists have 74 MPs, elected in the last general elections of April 21 2021.

So, after the three failed rounds, which required a wider consensus for anyone to be elected, the Socialists will now be almost able to propose and elect a president of their own liking.

Based on the agreement between the opposition and governing Socialists, in the first three rounds only the main opposition party had the right to propose names for a new President.

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