Opposition rally kicks off with tensions

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 16, 2019 12:21

Opposition rally kicks off with tensions

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  • Representatives of the international community in Tirana have called for the avoidance of violence, calling it unacceptable, and underlining the importance of a peaceful protest.

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TIRANA, Feb. 16 – The opposition’s national anti-governmental protest asking for Prime Minister Edi Rama’s withdrawal and a provisional cabinet started off amid tensions on Saturday morning, although no one was ultimately seriously hurt.

Thousands of citizens from different parts of the country gathered in the square in front of the prime minister’s office for the biggest protest Tirana has so far seen.

According to the organizers, the protest is not expected to have speeches of political leaders, but only from citizens, representatives of the layers and different categories of the society.

The first few minutes started amid tensions.

The protesters broke the line of policemen and gathered at its entrance with big numbers. However, while attempting to get into the door they were repelled from the security forces inside by using water pumps, tear gas and other potentially poisonous chemicals.

The Feb. 16 anti-government rally was called since over a month ago, while opposition leader Lulzim Basha has been touring Albania during this time with the intention of inviting frustrated citizens to join.

The opposition is supporting the idea of having a transitional government that will prepare the country for free and fair elections. Basha insists that chances for political solution have been exhausted and that the time for words is over.

Police, on its part, has repeatedly reiterated concerns about the risk of involvement among protesters of criminals, noting even it had information “that certain persons, with criminal records or previously convicted of serious criminal offenses, have been prepared to exert violence in the protest.”

For this reason, it exercised many controls at Tirana’s entry points, especially on vehicles coming from the districts.

Representatives of the international community in Tirana have called for the avoidance of violence, calling it unacceptable, and underlining the importance of a peaceful protest.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 16, 2019 12:21