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Albania Sets Parliamentary Elections

President Bujar Nishani

President Bujar Nishani

Albanian President Bujar Nishani has set June 23, 2013, as the date for the country's next parliamentary elections.

Albania is under pressure from the European Union to hold free and fair elections if the country wants to join the bloc.

Albania's last parliamentary elections in 2009 saw Prime Minister Sali Berisha's Democratic Party win half of the 140 seats in parliament and gain a parliamentary majority when it allied with the Socialist Integration Movement.

Subsequent allegations of fraud from opposition groups plunged the country into a political crisis.

Brussels says Albania cannot join the EU until it holds elections that meet international norms and improves its efforts toward democracy.

Some 3.1 million people will be eligible to vote in Albania's elections to parliament.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP