Albania opposition stages sixth anti-Rama protest

Albanian opposition parties organized their sixth recent protest on Thursday in the capital Tirana, calling for Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama to resign and demanding early elections.

The main opposition centre-right Democratic Party mustered its supporters at two points on the main pedestrian avenue and some of them attempted in vain to push through a police cordon near the entrance of the parliament.

Opposition parties have organized several protests recently, some of which ended in violence. However, the violence declined to pushes against police cordons in the last two protests while police called from loud speakers to protesters to refrain from throwing smoke bombs. They saw no need to resort to tear gas or water cannons as in the previous protests.

Three new MPs, two from the Democratic Party and one from the Socialist Movement for Integration, meanwhile defied their respective parties and took oaths in a plenary session in the parliament, eroding the opposition call for a total boycott of parliament.

Up till Thursday, 36 runner-up candidates from the Democrats had refused offers of seats to replace the 41 Democratic Party MPs who resigned their seats as part of the boycott.