Opposition protest in Tirana marked by incidents

Opposition protest in Tirana marked by incidents

The Albanian opposition takes the streets to reject the government’s reforms, taking advantage of the fact that the government has caused much disgruntlement with its action against informality and power supply debtors. They evoked December 8, 1990, when a protest started by Albanian students and supported by the people of Tirana, forced the communist regime to declare political pluralism. This date will be remembered as the start of democratic changes in Albania, after 50 years of communist dictatorship.

Tirana, 8 December 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

The opposition seems convinced in its promise that it will not stop until it forces PM Edi Rama’s government to leave and lead the country to early elections.

The protest that was announced by the Albanian opposition lasted several hours and was accompanied by incidents and strong political reactions, today on 8 December, known as the official day that symbolizes youth that initiated the overthrow of communism through a wave of protests 25 years ago.

During the demonstrations, there were “frictions” between protesters and police, but there were no serious incidents. Protesters threw stones, sticks, pyrotechnic equipment, firecrackers and eggs against the Council of Ministers’ building. They also demanded the resignation of PM Edi Rama.

The people who delivered speeches, accused the government led by the socialist PM, Edi Rama, perhaps with a harsher language than those who delivered speeches in 1990, of turning Albania in the dark years of communist regime and of impoverishing and stealing from the people. They demanded the resignation of the government and the holding of early elections.

Much debated bunker destroyed, Basha: The government will be destroyed tomorrow

After the speech delivered by the leader of DP, Lulzim Basha, who has demanded the government’s resignation, the creation of a technical government and the holding of early elections, protesters have responded to the demand of former political dissidents to destroy the bunker in front of the Ministry of Interior.

At the Ministry of Interior, DP supporters tried to destroy an art structure, a bunker which served as an entry for an underground shelter during communism, but which for the opposition is a symbol of communism.

The bunker was set ablaze after the police cordon was broken and protesters got on it in a triumphant style, as you can see on the main photo that IBNA brings you. (Below you will find photos and videos with images of the precipitation of today’s protest). Then they raised the DP’s flag. Police didn’t approach the protesters to stop them. Rapid intervention forces were present, but even they didn’t intervene.

After the developments at the bunker, the leader of DP, Basha and the historical leader of this party, Berisha, accompanied by fervent supporters of the party gathered at the DP’s headquarters. “Today we destroyed their symbol, tomorrow we will destroy the government itself”, Basha said.  According to him, “today we didn’t only hold the most glorious protest in history, but we also destroyed the symbol of corruption, crime and isolation that the bunker at the heart of Tirana represents”.

Basha promised that the DP “will open a new path, the path of freedom and dignity for every Albanian, the path for a new government which will come in power through the free vote of Albanians from the south to the north”. In several occasions, Basha said that “today on 8 December, a civil disobedience has started in Albania”.

Rama: Sorry for the opposition

Prime Minister Edi Rama reacted today after the opposition’s protest: “What a sad and ugly thing on the National Day of Youth, to see today’s DP stuck in miserable vandalism, while we all remember the student youth that destroyed the communist regime and gave life to the Democratic Party, without breaking any glasses. How sad today, 25 years after its creation as the force of hope, faith and European will for Albanians, to see a Democratic Party on which every hope has been dead and which tries to revive it through insults. Resentment for the ugly politics followed by a Democratic Party which is in constant degradation, without vision, without leadership or governing alternative and which unfortunately, has nothing to do with Albania’s European dreams, hopes and today’s problems of the Albanian people”.

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Today’s protests of the Democratic Party brought back memories of its protests from 1997 until 2005, when it was in opposition. Those events are remembered as the most violent protests after the January 21, 2011 ones. Four years ago, a protest called by the left wing opposition led by Edi Rama, ended up in violent incidents from several participants and precipitated in violence as a result of interventions carried out by police and Republican Guard. This also led to the killing of four protesters. /ibna/

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