Opposition’s national anti-gov’t rally concludes

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 16, 2019 17:41

Opposition’s national anti-gov’t rally concludes

Story Highlights

  • Basha blamed the police employed to protect the prime minister's office of intentionally allowing protesters to pass through to ignite violence and physical clashes.

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TIRANA, Feb. 16 – After four hours of clashes and tensions in Tirana’s center, right in front of the prime minister’s office, the opposition rally called to remove Edi Rama’s Socialist government came to an end.

The head of the opposition’s Democratic Party Lulzim Basha announced its end, while warning “the revolution will continue until this rotten system comes to an end.”

Opposition supporters have been called for a second protest next Thursday, Feb. 21.

The protest began and carried on with physical clashes between protesters and the countless police forces gathered to maintain order, as protesters sought to enter the prime minister’s office, while police kept them away combining the use of water and tear gas.

Some protesters were taken by ambulances due to bad reactions to the tear gas used.

Basha blamed the police employed to protect the prime minister’s office of intentionally allowing protesters to pass through to ignite violence and physical clashes.

“It began four days ago with the police’s irresponsible claims, it carried on last night, today, as protesters were arriving. Even now when the protest started completely peacefully and nobody was against the officers, who were even given flowers. Meanwhile, with the crowd’s smallest pressure, which is of course angry as Great Ring citizens who have had their homes taken away from them and stolen 18 million euros, we witness the police cord breaking. This means there is a plan to ignite violence,” Basha said.

The country’s President Ilir Meta reacted by calling on all sides to show self-restraint in order to avoid any conflict or violence.

“Citizens should freely protests and institutions should be respected,” Meta said.

In a public announcement, the US Embassy strongly condemned the violence that took place today during the protest – namely, the destruction of the prime minister’s office.

“We uphold the citizens’ right to peaceful protest, but damage of public property and violence are not acceptable. We encourage all parties to show better restraint and restore tranquility,” the statement read.

In the same line, the EU Delegation to Tirana and embassies of other EU member states called on all parties to show immediate constraint.

Meanwhile, some of the protesters have remained in front of the prime minister’s office, while Basha declared it will be the citizens themselves who will decide how the protest will carry on.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times February 16, 2019 17:41