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3rd Non-Communist Albanian Party OKd

<i> Associated Press</i>

Albania’s third non-Communist political party was legalized Thursday, one month before the Balkan nation’s first multi-party elections, the state news agency reported.

In the latest pledge of reform, Prime Minister Adil Carcani said Albania will try to coax foreigners to invest in the country and gradually introduce a free-market system.

On the political front, Justice Minister Enver Halili gave the order approving the Republican Party’s request for legal status, the ATA news agency said. The Ecological Party was granted legal status on Monday.

The Republican Party was the third opposition party to be legalized in less than a month.

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Albania has been the last bastion of hard-line Communist rule in Eastern Europe. But in December, the Communists reversed decades of single-party rule and decided to permit alternative parties after student protests grew into demands for democracy.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, the first approved alternative party, continued to hold rallies across the country to drum up support ahead of the Feb. 10 elections. The party has spearheaded political reform.


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