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Yearbook 2012

2012 AlbaniaAlbania. According to countryaah, nineteen people were sentenced in March to between 1 and 18 years in prison for the severe explosion in an armistice outside the capital Tirana in 2008, when 26 people were killed.

In May, Parliament granted the EU legal representation in Kosovo, EULEX, to investigate allegations in Albania that the former Kosovo Albanian guerrilla UCK engaged in trafficking in civilian Serbs bodies during the Kosovo war of 1997-99. According to a parliamentarian, the purpose was "once and for all" to show that the charges were false.

After three unsuccessful attempts in June, Parliament appointed Interior Minister Bujar Nishani as new president when Bamir Topi's term expired. Disputes within the ruling bourgeois Democratic Party (PDS) contributed to the party's original candidate withdrawing before the fourth vote. The president mainly has ceremonial duties.

2012 Albania

Parliament adopted amendments to the electoral law and approved restrictions on prosecutorial immunity for MEPs and senior civil servants, in accordance with EU requirements. The changes were also approved by the Socialist Party, which was in opposition. It helped the EU Commission in October recommend that Albania be granted candidate status.

Twenty former political prisoners launched a hunger strike in September in protest of missing compensation for sitting in jail during the communist era. The government promised compensation in 2007. Two of the dissidents set fire to themselves in protest and one of them died in November of their injuries.

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