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PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS IN WAKE OF ALBANIA RIOTS

Embattled Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano resigned Monday, two weeks after rioting that pushed his impoverished nation to the brink of anarchy.

Nano's resignation was announced after a meeting of the Socialist Party leadership in the Albanian capital.

Party leaders met today and nominated Pandeli Majko, the party's 31-year-old general secretary, to succeed Nano. Parliament selects the prime minister, and the Socialists hold a majority in the 155-seat chamber.

However, the opposition Democratic Party of former President Sali Berisha, which had demanded Nano's resignation, wants to establish a government that would rule for up to a year, until new elections could be held.

The party said the temporary government would establish public order and work toward passing the constitution. A parliamentary commission has drafted the constitution and wanted to hold a referendum Nov. 28 to pass it.

The party said it would continue holding street protests until their demands are met. They called another protest Wednesday.

Nano stepped down Monday after telling President Rexhep Meidani that he had been unable to put together the Cabinet he wanted because of disagreement among the parties that make up the coalition government, sources said.

Tensions have soared in recent weeks after unidentified assassins killed Azem Hajdari, a close Berisha associate, on Sept. 12. Rioting began a day later with protesters burning the first floor of the government building housing Nano's office.

Nano was sentenced in 1993 to 12 years in prison on charges of falsifying documents and misappropriating funds. When pyramid schemes collapsed last year, rioting forced Berisha to resign, and a mob freed Nano.

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