November 9, 2015 / 7:49 PM / 2 years ago

Albania's new justice minister vows to push reform

TIRANA (Reuters) - Albania's new justice minister, Ylli Manjani, promised on Monday to conclude reform of the judiciary, a key requirement of the European Union which Albania wants to join.

Earlier on Monday, Nasip Naco unexpectedly resigned from the post, saying he was stepping down to allow "a higher level of cooperation and interaction between all the players" to improve good governance and the judiciary.

The EU is pressing Albania on reforms that will root out corrupt judges, end a culture of impunity and ensure the judiciary's independence from government.

Prime Minister Edi Rama asked President Bujar Nishani to endorse Manjani after agreeing that reform of the judiciary, improving the method of registering property and stepping up the drafting of legislation to back reforms would be the main areas of his work.

"The reform of the judiciary is the most important for the functioning of the state. We want an invitation to join the EU. We have a lot of work to do and we shall work together and will get it done," Manjani told a local television station.

Manjani, a lawyer by education who has worked as an aide to previous Albanian premiers, was previously the deputy transport minister.

Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Richard Balmforth

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