AP

Albania elects top general as the country’s new president

Jun 3, 2022, 10:13 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2022, 12:25 pm

Gen. Maj. Bajram Begaj salutes the members of the Parliament after being elected as president, in t...

Gen. Maj. Bajram Begaj salutes the members of the Parliament after being elected as president, in the Parliament, in Tirana, Albania, Saturday, June 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

(AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

PERMET, Albania (AP) — Albania’s parliament on Saturday elected a top military official as the country’s new president after no candidates were nominated in three rounds of voting.

Gen.-Maj. Bajram Begaj won the post after the 140-seat Parliament voted 78 in favor, four against and one abstained.

The governing left-wing Socialist Party nominated and voted for Begaj, 55, after failing to reach a compromise with the opposition on a candidate to replace President Ilir Meta, and no independent candidate was nominated.

Most of the opposition boycotted the voting.

Begaj is post-communist Albania’s eighth president and the third from the military ranks. The five-year presidency has a largely ceremonial role and the chosen candidate is expected to stand above partisan divisions. The president holds some authority over the judiciary and the armed forces and is limited to two terms.

Begaj was elected among six candidates, according to Socialists’ leader and Prime Minister Edi Rama, adding that no candidates of the governing majority were taken into consideration.

“We gave Albania a normal president, an indisputable personality in his integrity, humanity and commitment for the country and its people,” Rama said.

Begaj was released from his army post in a decree from the president, who was on a visit Saturday to Turkey. Meta, who clashed regularly with the government, congratulated the new president. A handover ceremony is planned for July 24.

Begaj has been the army’s chief-of-staff since July 2020. Before that, he held several army posts, including ones in public and military hospitals, and trained in the U.S. on strategic medical leadership and defense management.

The European Union, the United States and other Western countries congratulated Begaj in his new post.

“We look forward to working together for a prosperous, secure and solid EU-#Albania relationship, as members of one European family,” tweeted EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

___

Follow Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

2 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

4 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

5 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

5 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

6 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

7 days ago

Albania elects top general as the country’s new president