Albania parliament backs government reshuffle

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s parliament has backed a government reshuffle in a vote called by the prime minister after the country’s president refused to accept his nominee for the foreign minister.

The parliament, dominated by the governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama, on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the nomination of nine new ministers.

The opposition boycotted the vote.

Lawmakers also voted for Rama to be foreign minister after President Ilir Meta refused to accept Rama’s nominee, saying he does not meet standards. Meta also did not accept the removal of the previous minister, without giving an explanation.

Rama pushed for the Cabinet reshuffle at the end of December following a students’ protest. He expects to lead Albania into membership negotiations with the European Union later this year.

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