Socialists pick former student leader as prime minister

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The ruling Socialists on Tuesday chose a 30-year-old former student leader who helped topple the Communists as Albania’s next prime minister.
Pandeli Majko, the Socialists’ general-secretary, was nominated to replace Fatos Nano, who submitted his resignation on Monday.
Late Tuesday, President Rexhep Mejdani asked Majko to try to form a new government. Majko was expected to start negotiations with other parties Wednesday on forming a coalition.
Nano bowed out after failing to win approval for Cabinet changes following riots in the capital two weeks ago over the slaying of opposition lawmaker Azem Hajdari. Former President Sali Berisha blamed Nano for the killing.
Majko’s nomination was seen as a significant move to phase out political leaders associated with the hard-line Stalinist regime that ruled Albania for 46 years.
In a statement, Berisha’s Democratic Party repeated that Nano’s resignation alone was not enough to end Albania’s political crisis. The Democrats demanded that an interim government comprised of experts not affiliated with any party take over until new elections are held.