Europe

The Latest: Albanian Parliament elects leader as president

FILE - In this Monday, May 30, 2016 file photo, Albania's Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta speaks at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring session in Tirana. The speaker of the Albanian Parliament is expected to be elected as the country’s new president Friday, April 28, 2017 in a parliamentary vote. Speaker Ilir Meta’s nomination has been formally supported by the main left-wing governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, file)

FILE - In this Monday, May 30, 2016 file photo, Albania's Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta speaks at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring session in Tirana. The speaker of the Albanian Parliament is expected to be elected as the country’s new president Friday, April 28, 2017 in a parliamentary vote. Speaker Ilir Meta’s nomination has been formally supported by the main left-wing governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, file)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the election of Albania's president (all times local):

6:09 p.m.

The Albanian Parliament has elected its leader as the country's new president.

Lawmakers in the 140-seat body voted 87-2 to make Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta president. Meta's nomination was formally supported by the main left-wing governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

There were 89 lawmakers present during the closed-door vote. Meta needed at least 71 votes to be elected.

Meta is leader of the junior governing party, the Socialist Movement for Integration, or LSI. The 48-year-old was the only candidate proposed by 23 lawmakers.

A handover ceremony from President Bujar Nishani is expected in July.

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4:06 p.m.

Albanian Parliament speaker Ilir Meta is expected to be elected as the country's new president in a parliamentary vote.

Meta's nomination on Friday has been formally supported by the main left-wing governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Meta, 48, is leader of the junior governing party, Socialist Movement for Integration.

Friday's vote follows three failed ones as the governing coalition didn't put up a candidate, wanting to include the center-right opposition in reaching a broader consensus.

Albania's president occupies a largely ceremonial role and is limited to two five-year terms. Candidates are proposed by a group of at least 20 lawmakers in the 140-seat Parliament.

In the last two rounds a candidate can be elected by a simple majority, or at least 71 votes.