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After the collapse of talks between the opposition and government on a consensus candidate, parliament on Monday elected Interior Minister Bujar Nishani as the new head of state.
|Albania's president elect Bujar Nishani|
Nishani’s election came in the fourth round of voting, after the surprise withdrawal of political commentator Artan Hoxha.
The Socialist opposition, who had called for a President elected by consensus, boycotted the vote, though Socialist MPs were present in parliament.
Talks between the Socialists and the ruling majority on a candidate whom both sides could support failed on Sunday evening.
Nishani, 46, has served twice in the cabinet of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, as Interior and Justice Minister.
Born in the city of Durres, Nishani graduated from Tirana’s Military Academy in 1988. Before becoming Interior Minister in 2007 he held various positions in the Defence Ministry.
According to a poll by the Open Society Foundation published on Monday, 77 per cent of Albanian would have preferred a president who did not come from the ranks of the political parties.
Roughly 60 per cent said the President should be elected as the result of a consensus between the ruling majority and the opposition.
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