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Albanian Parliament Elects President At Fourth Attempt

The Albanian parliament has elected Interior Minister Bujar Nishani as the country's new head of state in a fourth-round vote on June 11.

Three previous attempts to elect a head of state failed because the ruling coalition and opposition could not agree on a consensus candidate for the largely ceremonial post.

Nishani replaces outgoing President Bamir Topi, whose mandate ends in July, for a five-year term.

He was the only candidate put forward by the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha's Democratic party.

He won 73 votes in the 140-seat parliament.

Opposition Socialist Party lawmakers were present but did not vote.

Socialist leader Edi Rama said Nishani's unilateral nomination by the ruling Democrats undermines the country's goal of joining the European Union.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP