Albania's parliament has unanimously approved legislation barring people with criminal records from holding public office or most civil service jobs.

All 131 lawmakers present voted for the law Thursday, while nine were absent.

The new legislation gives three months to people currently in office or in most civil service jobs who have a criminal record to resign. After that they will be dismissed.

The law covers all members of the police and the secret services, but excludes military personnel and low-ranking state employees.

The European Union and the United States praised the adoption of the new law.