Albania, assault on the Democratic Party headquarters in Tirana by the supporters of the former premier Berisha: tensions and clashes

Strong tensions a Tirana, at the headquarters of Democratic Party of Albania (Pd), principal force of opposition driven by MINISTER Bash. L’ex premier albanese Sali Berisha he organized a protest in the morning of January 8, flanked by his supporters, to take control of the building, inside which Basha was with other party leaders. The main entrance was broken, but inside Berisha’s supporters were blocked by armored doors. Another raid attempt from either side of the building, to the balcony overlooking Basha’s office, was rejected by people inside. One of Berisha’s supporters remained slightly injured. Berisha accuses her successor of turning the party headquarters into a bunker. Basha’s response was immediate according to which “Berisha wants to take control of the party with violence for her own personal interests”.

The Albanian police intervened and riot units made use of tear gas managing to disperse the crowd in minutes, taking control of the building. The intervention of the police took place after the request of the leader of the Democratic Party, according to which “the life of the parliamentarians of the Democratic Party is endangered by the demonstrators who managed to break through the armored doors inside of”. Berisha spoke of “a criminal intervention”, underlining that “the protest will not stop until he has achieved his goal “. And he accused the agents of acting on behalf of the prime minister I know Rama. Emergency medical services have been sent to the Democratic Party to offer assistance to MPs who are still inside the party headquarters.

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The protest on Saturday 8 January is part of an action promoted by Berisha to resume leadership of the Albanian Democratic Party from which he resigned after the defeat of the policies of 2013. Berisha has unleashed a real storm against Basha, his former dolphin, who last September decided to leave him out of the parliamentary group following the decision of the US State Department to ban the former premier and his family from entering the United States as he is included in the list of officials “involved in serious acts of corruption“. Berisha, also supported by a group of deputies of the Democratic Party, called a congress of Democrats and also organized a referendum, in which they voted for the removal of Basha. Actions that the current leader did not recognize, responding with the calling of another congress which marked the definitive break between the two.

The United States Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim, expressed “deep concern” for the “growing tensions at the headquarters of the Democratic Party” and for “the use of force by the demonstrators” and asked “the organizers of the protest to avoid violence and use calm”.

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