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Begaj Takes Oath as New President of Albania

The newly-elected President of the Republic of Albania, Bajram Begaj, took oath here on Sunday at a swearing-in ceremony in the parliament.

In his first address in front of the lawmakers as the president, Begaj, 55, declared that he will support and respect both the government and opposition’s work, calling for cooperation between political parties instead of conflict.

“I will carry out this mission above the parties. I will not remain neutral towards anyone who puts political interests above the nation’s interest and I will support and insist on the cooperation between all political forces,” Begaj added.

The president urged political parties to “get away from the politics of confrontation and replace it with the politics of dialogue.”

“Unity is needed more than ever to ensure the vitality of our nation. Let us all together make our Albania even more beautiful, for it to be in the place where it belongs,” Begaj noted.

Begaj was elected president on June 4. A total of 83 lawmakers participated in the voting that took place in the plenary session in the parliament, where Begaj received 78 votes in favor, while four lawmakers voted against and there was one abstention.

He was a major general (Maj. Gen) and held the post of the chief of general staff of the Albanian Armed Forces before the election as president of Albania, a post he is set to hold over the next five years. At his swearing-in ceremony, Begaj was accompanied by his wife Armanda Begaj and his two sons.

On Sunday morning, former President Ilir Meta posted on the social media his last message directed to the people as the president, a post he held for five years since July 2017.

“It was an extraordinary honor and privilege to serve for these five years as President of the Republic of Albania. I wish the best for our homeland and nation! I wish peace and prosperity for every Albanian family,” Meta wrote.