TIRANA, Albania — Albania’s Central Election Commission has fired two parliamentarians because of their past criminal records in Italy.

The commission on Friday terminated the terms of Gledjon Rahovica and Aqif Rakipi after documents from the prosecutor general’s office showed they used other names and committed theft in Italy. A law passed in 2015 bars people with criminal records from holding public office and most civil service jobs in Albania.

The two officials deny having criminal records.

Fighting corruption and cleansing politics and government of convicted criminals remains a top priority for Albania, which hopes to launch membership negotiations with the 28-nation European Union.

The U.S. Embassy in Tirana said Friday’s move was “evidence that the important process of decriminalization … is continuing in Albania.”

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