Protests in Tirana: Molotov cocktails thrown at Rama’s office

Lulzim Basha at the protest; Photo: Lulzim Basha's Facebook page

TIRANA – Thousands of Albanians gathered on Saturday in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, demanding the resignation of Edi Rama over alleged corruption and crime. The protest was accompanied by tensions, acts of violence and clashes with the police.

Saturday’s protest are 12th in a row since February 16, when the DP, the Socialist Movement for Integration and right-wing allies walked out of parliament abandoning their MP mandates.

Tensions grew during the protest, as smoke bombs and ink bags were thrown toward the Prime Minister’s Office, followed by many Molotov bombs.

It was reported that dozens of protest participants were escorted by the police for acts of violence, which also affected some operatives and journalists. Meanwhile, according to the interior ministry at least 13 police officers were injured.

OSCE in Tirana, as well as the US Embassy condemned the acts of violence, calling both sides to show restraint and to stop violent acts.

Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha announced the decision to hold another protest on Monday afternoon, “in response to the violence of Edi Rama’s criminal regime.”

The opposition calls for Rama’s resignation and the establishment of a transitional government to guarantee the organization of free and fair elections, but also to boycott the local elections scheduled for June 30.