Thousands of demonstrators again took the streets of the Albanian capital on Saturday and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is charged with corruption and electoral fraud in 2017. The opposition leaders therefore demand the establishment of a transitory government cabinet: “We are here with a mission to free Albania of crimes and corruption to make Albania similar to Europe, “said Lulzim Basha, leader of the opposition Democratic Party.
Conflicts between protesters and the police, even in front of the local parliament, broke out yesterday in several places. The group of protesters, including many with masked faces, are metal bottles or molotov, petard and other objects in the building of the government and parliament. The police responded with a tear gas and water cannon when a group of demonstrators tried to break through protective fences and barricades in front of the parliament, Deutsche Welle reports.
The protesters shouted “We want a European Albania”, a slogan of pro-democracy demonstrations in 1990. In the riots, 12 police officers and more protesters were wounded, Reuters reports. After four hours of demonstrations, protesters also set off before the building
Rami is supported by the US and the EU
Anti-government protests erupted in mid-February, while yesterday’s demonstrations are already being held across the country. Premier Rama has so far resolutely rejected calls for resignation and all allegations that fly him. He described the opposition’s policy as “blind”.
Local elections will take place in Albania next month, but the opposition has already announced that it will boycott the elections. Both the United States and the European Union call on the opposition to participate in the elections and to end the boycott of the parliament. The Ramsey government, which is considered pro-European, enjoys the support of Washington and Brussels. The US embassy condemned violence on Saturday: “The opposition’s aim to strengthen democracy in Albania is contrary to the violence of protesters.”
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