Thousands demand government resignation in Albania

The opposition parties, youth protest Albanian prime minister, accuses him of corruption, opening way to poverty

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The bunker bears a striking resemblance to the 700,000 circular bunkers built across Albania during the 40-year rule of dictator Enver Hoxha, who feared attacks from both the Soviet Union and the West

The opposition coalition and young demonstrators conducted a rally on Tuesday in the capital Tirana against government, aimed at forcing Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to resign due to being responsible for corruption and poverty.

The government is also accused of being corrupt, and that this is what is driving Albanians to seek asylum in western European countries.
Thousands of protesters were holding placards that read “Rama go away” and throwing eggs, stones and smoke-bombs at the government’s headquarters.

The protest was organised by the opposition Democratic Party and happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary of a student protest against the communist regime. 

"We demand the planned elections, the Rama government must leave, this government is corrupt and the time has come to throw it out," Lulzim Basha, leader of the Democratic Party and former mayor of Tirana, told the crowd.

Unarmed police were guarding the interior and transport ministries and did not hinder the protests of demonstrators that were in the front of the government headquarter.

Opposition protesters destroy a bunker installed as an artwork near the Interior ministry during a rally organized by the opposition Democratic Party to demand the resignation of the government, in Tirana, on December 8, 2015 / Photo by AFP

Democrats lost general elections to the Socialist coalition back in March 2013, they also lost mayoral elections in June.

"We shall not get tired, will not be trampled," Democratic Party head Lulzim Basha told the crowd in the capital Tirana.

"This is the start of a season of protest that will stop only when its popular goals are achieved. Civil disobedience has started," he said. "A technical government is the solution."

Rama wrote on his personal Facebook account, describing the situation as "desperate ugliness" and "miserable vandalism."

"Disgust for the policies of a Democratic Party in continuous disarray, without vision, leadership..." Rama wrote.

2.8 million populated Albania officially became a NATO member on 1 April 2009 and obtained EU candidate status last year.

Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe which the World Bank shows to be below the poverty line, in where the average Albanian citizen lives on $2 per day.

TRTWorld and agencies