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Albania: Parties Plan referendum on Form Government

Tirana, 10 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Albania's newspapers today report the country's main political parties have agreed that voters should choose in a referendum between a parliamentary republic, a presidential republic and a monarchy. The decision to hold a referendum possibly simultaneous with early general elections in June came last night at the end of a roundtable discussion by the leaders of ten political parties with President Sali Berisha.

But opposition Socialist Party leader Namik Dokle says President Berisha's proposal to prepare and adopt a constitution in advance of the elections comes in an unsuitable political climate.

Berisha has said the constitution should be modeled on that of an EU member country and is urgently needed to fill a legal vacuum. However, only his Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Union Party support speedy drafting of a constitution. The other eight parties at yesterday's meeting were against Berisha's proposal.

Meanwhile, the Albanian royalist party, Legality Movement, said today the exiled pretender to the Albanian throne, Leka Zogu, is due to arrive in Albania on Saturday with Berisha's approval, and stay for an "indefinite period".