Albania president calls for dialogue to end political crisis

Albania's president has called on political party leaders to negotiate a compromise to end the opposition's boycott of parliament and the parliamentary election scheduled for June.

President Bujar Nishani called on Prime Minister Edi Rama of the governing Socialist Party and Lulzim Basha of the main opposition Democratic Party on Tuesday to resolve the political crisis.

Nishani's term as president ends in July.

The opposition has boycotted parliament since February, demanding Rama's resignation before the June 18 election and alleging his Cabinet will manipulate the vote.

It also has threatened to disrupt voting with "civil disobedience," starting with a local election in a western town on May 7.

Albania is a candidate to join the European Union. EU parliamentarians haven't been able to persuade the opposition to change its stance.