Albania's president quit all of his posts in the governing Communist Party Saturday to comply with a new constitutional requirement.
Ramiz Alia, who in the past year has introduced some democratic reform in Albania, will remain head of state.State radio reported that Communist Party's Central Committee accepted Alia's resignation as the party's first secretary, as well as his withdrawal from the policy-making Central Committee and the Politburo, the party's executive body.
The broadcast was monitored by a journalist in Tirana. He spoke by telephone from the Albanian capital.
The move was in keeping with modifications to the constitution passed late last month by Albania's newly elected parliament, the first multiparty legislature in more than six decades. One of the modifications specifies that the president cannot hold party office.
Alia, who succeeded hard-liner Enver Hoxha upon his death in 1985, is the chief architect of the political reforms that began gathering force last year, culminating in democratic elections March 31.
The reforms followed a wave of popular discontent with years of hard-line Stalinist government, similar to the protests that brought down communist governments in other Eastern European nations.