Albania fails to vote through reform required by EU
(TIRANA) - Albania's parliament failed to vote through legislation curbing immunity for lawmakers and government officials that the European Union had requested as the country seeks to obtain EU candidate status.
Prime Minister Sali Berisha's governing Democratic party was unable to win the socialist opposition's backing to pass the constitutional change.
The opposition claimed the revision would have also affected other procedures, including the appointment of judges and the attorney general.
Albanian law requires 84 votes from the 140-member parliament to amend the constitution. The parliament will now have to wait one year before it can take up the proposed law again.
Albania has been mired in political crisis for three years since the Socialists accused Berisha's Democrats of electoral fraud after legislative polls in June 2009.
The row has stalled the government from adopting many of the reforms demanded by Brussels, which has already twice refused to grant Albania EU candidate status.
The country of 2.8 million people applied for candidate status in 2009 and is hoping to obtain it by year's end.
Text and Picture Copyright 2012 AFP. All other Copyright 2012 EUbusiness Ltd. All rights reserved. This material is intended solely for personal use. Any other reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of the copyright owner is strictly forbidden and any breach of copyright will be considered actionable.