Albanian protesters try to storm parliament

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There were clashes in Tirana between Albanian opposition supporters and police while trying to storm the parliament building in a protest against the government which they accuse of being corrupt and linked to organized crime.

Thousands of supporters of the Democratic Party led by party leader Lulzim Basha, in opposition first gathered on the capital’s main boulevard in front of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office to demand his resignation.

 

Protesters, then walked to the parliament building and tried to break through police lines while throwing smoke bombs and other objects at officers.

Police dispersed them with tear gas and water cannons and a few protesters were injured.

Albania opposition protests turned violent
A supporter of the opposition throws a stone at riot police during a protest outside parliament in Tirana, Albania

After about 40 minutes outside parliament entrance, the opposition leader led all the people toward his headquarters, pledging to keep on with daily protests

The opposition, whose lawmakers have relinquished their seats in parliament, declines to dialogue with Rama, asking for a transitory Cabinet without him to prepare early elections.

Albania opposition protests turned violent
A supporter of the opposition shouts anti-government slogans as he holds the Albanian flag outside the parliament building during a protest in Tirana, Albania

President Ilir Meta, who is on a visit in Azerbaijan, appealed on the opposition to protest peacefully.

The U.S. and European Union have warned the opposition against using or inciting violence and to sit down for talks.

Albania hopes to get the EU’s approval in June on launching membership negotiations.

Via Albanian Daily News and Fox News

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