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Albania: President Warns Of Early Elections

Tirana, 21 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Albanian President Rexhep Meidani has threatened to dissolve parliament and prompt early elections following parliament's failure to approve his decree on the appointment of four new government ministers. Socialist leader Fatos Nano and other Socialist deputies boycotted yesterday's voting session, saying they did not support the proposed new ministers. The parliament was short of the quorum required for the vote to take place.

A new and final vote has been scheduled for 24 December. Albanian newspaper "Korrieri" quoted Meidani as saying he will dissolve the parliament if it fails again to approve the new ministers on that date.

Albania's ruling Socialist Party has been divided by conflicts after Prime Minister Ilir Meta and other party leaders rejected Nano's bid to run for president in 2002.