TIRANA, Albania – Albania’s 140 new lawmakers have been sworn in and a new speaker has been chosen at Parliament’s first session following the June 25 election.
Lawmakers voted Saturday 80-40 to name Gramoz Ruci of the left-wing Socialist Party as the new speaker. The Socialists have 74 seats in the 140-seat parliament. The main opposition Democratic Party voted against Ruci while the smaller opposition Socialist Movement for Integration Party boycotted the vote.
The Socialists’ leader, Edi Rama, nominated as prime minister because of his post, has formed a smaller, restructured Cabinet that is expected to be voted on next week.
Albanian lawmakers are seeking to pass a reform agenda to root out corruption, fight drug trafficking, achieve faster economic growth and lower unemployment as the country tries to launch membership talks with the European Union.