Albania s parliament elects army chief president
June 5, 2022 12:11 AM
Albania's parliament on Saturday elected the head of the country's armed forces to the largely symbolic post of president. With his election to the post Bajram Begaj steps down from his position as chief-of-staff of the armed forces.
Although parliament has most political power in Albania, as president Begaj will have the power to nominate three of the nine members of the country's constitutional court.
And while he resigned from his military post just before parliament elected him to the presidency, in his new role he becomes commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama nominated 55-year-old Begaj for president and he was elected in the fourth round of voting by 78 of the parliament's 140 deputies.
He will start his five-year term of office when his predecessor Ilir Meta, a fierce critic of the government, steps down on July 24.
Begaj studied medicine, joined the army and occupied a range of posts before being appointed to the top military job in July 2020.
Albania has been a member of the NATO alliance since 2009 and is seeking membership of the European Union.