TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Parliament has extended the right to vote to citizens living abroad, who could form almost half of the electorate in the future.

The 140-seat Parliament voted late Thursday by 73 votes to 24 to allow emigrants to register at the Albanian embassy in their resident countries to be able to vote in elections planned for next year.

Some 3.37 million people are entitled to vote in Albania, but the 2011 census gave the country's population as 2.8 million. Since the fall of the communist regime in 1990 more than 1.5 million Albanians have spread around the globe, mainly to nearby Greece and Italy, but also to Germany, France, Britain, the United States and Canada.