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Albanian opposition holds anti-gov't demonstration

 Flowers lie in front of the Prime Minister's office in Tirana, Albania, Friday Jan. 28, 201,  as police officers seal off the area prior a pl\anned o...
 Albanian national guards seal off the Prime Minister's office in the capital Tirana, Friday Jan. 28, 2011,  prior to an  an anti-government demonstra...
 Flowers lie in front of the Prime Minister's office in Tirana, Albania, Friday Jan. 28, 2011.  as police officers seal off the area prior a pl\anned ...

Albania Politics Opposition

Flowers lie in front of the Prime Minister's office in Tirana, Albania, Friday Jan. 28, 201, as police officers seal off the area prior a pl\anned o...

Albania Politics Opposition

Albanian national guards seal off the Prime Minister's office in the capital Tirana, Friday Jan. 28, 2011, prior to an an anti-government demonstra...

Albania Politics Opposition

Flowers lie in front of the Prime Minister's office in Tirana, Albania, Friday Jan. 28, 2011. as police officers seal off the area prior a pl\anned ...

Hundreds of police deployed in central Tirana before a planned anti-government demonstration to honor three opposition supporters shot dead during protests a week ago that turned violent.
The police have said they consider the demonstration to be a threat to national security and say they cannot guarantee protesters' safety.
More than 150 protesters and security officers were injured in last week's deadly clashes at a rally by former Tirana mayor Edi Rama's opposition Socialist party, but he has rebuffed requests to cancel Friday's rally, saying the demonstration will be a peaceful candlelight march.
The opposition is demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sali Berisha's government for alleged corruption following months of simmering tensions over disputed national elections.
Berisha said Albanians' right to protested would by respected, but warned Rama not to try to overthrow the government, or "he will face consequences he cannot imagine."
European Union and U.S. officials have urged restraint from the Socialists and the governing Democrats, who agreed to cancel a protest of their own scheduled for Saturday.
"We call on all sides and their leaders to engage in a considered dialogue to manage political differences and avoid further bloodshed and suffering," Ian Kelly, U.S. Ambassador at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Thursday.
Tensions have been mounting for months between Albania's government and the Socialists, and rose sharply earlier this month when the country's deputy prime minister, Ilir Meta, resigned amid an alleged corruption scandal.
The opposition wants the government to hold early general elections because of the scandal and their allegation that the conservatives rigged the 2009 ballot.
Berisha has rejected calls for him to resign, and has accused the opposition of attempting to stage a coup d'etat.
Anticipating unrest, the U.S. Embassy in Tirana said it will be closed on Friday.


Updated : 2021-04-12 22:16 GMT+08:00