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Opposition protesters in Albania hurl petrol bombs at government building

Albania Hurl Petrol

The anti-government protesters accuse Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama of nepotism and corruption.

In Short

  • Opposition protesters hurl petrol bombs at Albania’s government building.
  • Thousands gather at Tirana, no reports of injuries or arrests.
  • Opposition accuses PM Adi Rama of nepotism and corruption.

Opposition protesters pelted Albania’s government building with petrol bombs and rocks late on Tuesday, accusing state officials of involvement in organised crime and corruption after their leader was placed under house arrest.

Thousands gathered in front of the government headquarters in the capital Tirana as riot police officers were called in to cordon off the office of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, serious damage or arrests.

The main opposition Democratic Party accuses Rama of nepotism and corruption, which it says are prompting many young people to emigrate for a better life in Western Europe.

Protesters chose Tuesday for the rally in remembrance of February 20, 1991, when pro-democracy demonstrators tore down the statue of Albania’s longtime communist dictator Enver Hoxha.

“Today we are here to bring down Rama’s regime, which is worse than Enver Hoxha’s regime,” said Syle Xhebexhia, who said he travelled over 100 km to attend the protest in Tirana.

Opposition leader Sali Berisha addressed the protesters via a video link from house arrest. He is being investigated for alleged corruption while Prime Minister between 2005-2013.

Berisha has denied wrongdoing, accusing Rama of a political vendetta meant to silence opponents. Rama denies this.

Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to file formal charges against Berisha or drop them.

“Edi Rama, similar to the other dictator (Hoxha), has concentrated all powers in his hands and wants an Albania without opposition,” Berisha told the protesting crowd.

erisha has been regularly addressing supporters from the balcony of his apartment in downtown Tirana.

This article was originally published on India Today.

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