Opposition calls national anti-government rally

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 14, 2019 11:44

Opposition calls national anti-government rally

Story Highlights

  • “Citizens will gather in the biggest protest this country has known in the last thirty years to dictate, through unison, what we haven’t been able to dictate from this parliament hall, the separation of crime from politics, the end of legitimizing theft from Albanians’ pockets,” Basha said on Thursday during parliament.

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TIRANA, Feb. 15 – The country’s main opposition Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration have called a national anti-government rally on Saturday, Feb. 16, demanding a transitional government cabinet before the municipal elections in June.

“Citizens will gather in the biggest protest this country has known in the last thirty years to dictate, through unison, what we haven’t been able to dictate from this parliament hall, the separation of crime from politics, the end of legitimizing theft from Albanians’ pockets,” Basha said on Thursday during parliament.

Two days before the announced rally, planned to take place in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Tirana police denied the DP’s request to rally infinitely.

The DP headquarters asked for permission to rally without specifying a finish time to the authorities, but this request was denied.

Another problem in the request for permission submitted by the DP are the coordinates. The DP requested permission to protest on the four streets surrounding the Prime Minister’s Office, the “Dëshmorët e Kombit” Blvd. at the square in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, the garden at the Pyramid and the “Ismail Qemali” street next to the Prime Minister’s Office.

However, according to the DP, the Tirana police has refused permission on the coordinates requested by the DP with the argument that the space between the Prime Minister’s Office, at the “Ismail Qemali” street will be the territory where the police and the Guard of the Republic officers will be deployed.

“The right to peacefully assemble, petition the government, and protest for positive change are hallmarks of a free and healthy democratic society. It is a right exercised often in the United States. However, this right must be exercised peacefully. Violence against people or property is unacceptable. We call upon all involved in Saturday’s protest, and all of Albania’s political leaders, to reject violence and ensure the demonstrations are conducted peacefully and constructively,” came the US Embassy’s to Tirana reaction to the announced protest and the tensions that are already risen.

Meanwhile, the EU delegation to Tirana also said they expect the opposition to respect norms of conduct.

“We expect a peaceful demonstration,not to turn into violence.This is a call to all involved parties, it’s important for all to be constructive. Albania needs to focus on the tasks ahead and all sides should cooperate. Speak without violence and your message will be heard,” said EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca.

Meanwhile, the government has warned it will be running more road police checks on Saturday and employ a number of police forces to make sure nothing happens, while the Minister for Parliamentary Relations Elisa Spiropali has accused the opposition of wanting to burn down Tirana.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 14, 2019 11:44