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Albania’s Democrats elect Lulzim Basha as leader

July 23, 2013

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Lulzim Basha has been elected as new leader of the center-right Albanian Democratic Party.

The 39-year-old, who is mayor of the capital, Tirana, replaces outgoing Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who resigned from the post after conceding defeat in the June 23 national elections, taking personal responsibility for the heavy loss to the rival Socialist Party of Edi Rama.

Basha won 80 percent of the party members’ votes in Monday’s race against transport minister Sokol Olldashi, according to results made public Tuesday.

Rama is expected to become prime minister in September, and Basha will be the leader of the main opposition party.

Albania became a NATO member in 2009 and has applied for European Union candidate status.

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