Albanian parliamentary speaker has temporarily postponed voting on a judicial reform package considered key to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country.

The reform package has been prepared over the past 18 months, but the government and opposition have been bickering over it.

The opposition Democrats party has opposed the measures put forward by the government and introduced a fresh demand Wednesday that angered Brussels and Washington.

The ruling Socialists will require opposition votes within the 140-member chamber if the bill is to pass.

After a delayed start of the session Thursday, Speaker Ilir Meta said voting for the reform package would be postponed for a few hours until a few details were cleared up.