TIRANA, Albania: Parliament on Friday elected Bamir Topi, deputy leader of the governing Democratic Party, as Albania's new president, after some opposition lawmakers broke their coalition's boycott and took part in the vote.
Topi, 50, a biologist by profession and father of two, replaces President Alfred Moisiu, elected five years ago with a rare consensus between the two ever-bickering political groupings and whose term expires Tuesday.
Lawmakers cast 85 votes for Topi on Friday, one more than required in the 140-seat Parliament to elect a president in Albania.
Several opposition lawmakers broke rank with their own coalition to join the 80-member governing coalition in the vote.
"I will be the president of all Albanians... I will give my best for Albania's integration into the European Union and NATO," Topi told AFP after the vote.