Thousands of Albanian protesters call for govt to step down

Protesters gather outside the Prime Minister's office during an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Thousands of suppo

Protesters gather outside the Prime Minister's office during an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania, Saturday, March 16, 2019. Thousands of suppo

Policemen line up outside the Prime Minister's office ahead of an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania on Saturday, March 16, 2019. The center-rig

Policemen line up outside the Prime Minister's office ahead of an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania on Saturday, March 16, 2019. The center-rig

Policemen line up outside the Prime Minister's office ahead of an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania on Saturday, March 16, 2019. The center-rig

Policemen line up outside the Prime Minister's office ahead of an anti-government rally in Tirana, Albania on Saturday, March 16, 2019. The center-rig

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition supporters are holding a protest against the government which they accuse of being corrupt and linked to organized crime.

Thousands of supporters of the center-right Democratic Party-led opposition have gathered on Saturday in front of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama's office to demand his resignation.

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.

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

Recent rallies have turned violent, with police deploying tear gas.

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