BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Albanian Communist party leader Enver Hoxha Tuesday purged Defense Minister Kadri Hazbiu as part of an extensive government reshuffle, reports said.
Prime Minister Adil Carcani, who took his post in January and immediately ousted four ministers, named former Energy Minister Prokop Murra to replace Hazbiu, the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said.
Hazbiu, a member of the Communist party's Politburo, was interior (police) minister before he was appointed defense minister in April 1980.
Carcani, 59, who Hoxha appointed prime minister following the death of Mehmet Shehu in December 1981, has replaced almost all ministers of his 18-member Cabinet in the past 10 months.
Albania's newly elected parliament, in its first session Monday, named Ramiz Alia, a 57-year-old Communist party secretary and close aide of Hoxha, president of the national assembly presidium, or parliament.
Alia, also a member of the party politburo, replaced Haxhi Lleshi, 70, who retired after 29 years, according to Tirana Radio.
This was the latest in a series of purges being carried out by Hoxha, 73. Poltically-isolated Albania, considered by many observers to be the only European Stalinist-type country, is a tiny Balklans nation where 2.7 million people live.
Hoxha, who came to power in Albania in 1944, has maintained a policy of hostility to the Soviet Union, China, the United States and neighboring Yugoslavia.
The deputies to the Albanian parliament were elected Nov. 14, when according to the state electoral commission, only one person voted against the Communist candidates during a 100-percent turnout.
In a pre-election speech in Tirana on Nov. 10, Hoxha accused the late Shehu, his right-hand man for nearly 40 years, of being a 'traitor' who had worked for the U.S., Soviet and Yugoslav intelligence services and had planned to kill Hoxha and undermine the radical Communist regime in Albania.
The officially announced 'suicide during a nervous breakdown' of Shehu has never been fully explained.