Tirana mayor and member of the Albanian Democratic Party (DP), Lulzim Basha, has won the race for the party chair, Balkanweb informed. Basha received 80% of the votes in a competition with Sokol Olldashi, who serves as a transport minister in the outgoing cabinet in an intraparty vote held earlier this week.
Basha replaces at the post outgoing PM Sali Berisha, who has decided to resign from all his functions at the party, which he chaired for the last 22 years, after losing the June 23 parliamentary elections.
Basha joined the DP in January 2005. He served as a minister of public works (2005-2007), foreign minister (2007-2009) and interior minister (2009-2011).
Basha assumed the office of Tirana mayor on July 25, 2011. He was declared winner after a double vote recount with a tight 93-vote lead ahead of the opposition candidate and three-times Tirana mayor, Edi Rama.
As noted, Rama has been nominated for the country's next PM following the June elections and is expected to form the new cabinet in September.
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