Albania Parliament Approves New Female-Dominated Cabinet

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during a debate at the parliament in Tirana, Albania, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Albania's parliament was to vote late Thursday to approve the new, female-dominated Cabinet of Prime Minister Edi Rama, with 12 of the 17 jobs going to women, propelling Albania to the top of global rankings in terms of the percentage of women holding Cabinet positions. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during a debate at the parliament in Tirana, Albania, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. Albania's parliament was to vote late Thursday to approve the new, female-dominated Cabinet of Prime Minister Edi Rama, with 12 of the 17 jobs going to women, propelling Albania to the top of global rankings in terms of the percentage of women holding Cabinet positions. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)
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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s Assembly, or parliament, on Friday approved Cabinet dominated by women, aiming to bring the country back to economic growth focusing on tourism and agriculture, infrastructure and energy.

Following a 20-hour debate, the 140-seat parliament voted 77-53 for Prime Minister Edi Rama’s new Cabinet and program.

The left-wing Socialist Party secured a record third consecutive mandate in an April 25 parliamentary election, with 74 seats. The main opposition center-right Democratic Party got 59 seats.

The 57-year-old Rama boasted in his speech that “this new government will enter history as the Cabinet with the highest number of women” — 12 in the 17-member cabinet, propelling Albania to the top of global rankings in terms of the percentage of women holding Cabinet positions.

The government’s main challenges will be completing the reconstruction process following the November 2019 earthquake and coping with the pandemic and its impact on the economy, as well as fighting corruption and drug trafficking, boosting growth to at least 4% annually, raising salaries and lowering unemployment.

Rama wants to make Albania by 2030 “an absolute champion of tourism in the Balkans.”

Albania, population 2.8 million, has been a NATO member since 2009 and hopes to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union later this year.