News 08 Apr 13

Albania Nationalist Rally Fails to Draw Crowds

A protest by the Red and Black Alliance on Sunday in Tirana, which promised to overturn the government of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, failed to muster much popular support.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Red and Black Alliance leader, Kreshnik Spahiu, heading Sunday's rally in front of the government offices in Tirana

The rally held outside Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s office, titled "April 7 Without Berisha", gathered roughly 1,000 supporters of the nationalist party, who waved flags and chanted slogans against the government.

“He left for Azerbaijan but wherever he goes he will not find closure,” declared the alliance’s leader, Kreshnik Spahiu, referring to Berisha's latest foreign trip. “God is first, and then Albania above all,” he added, referring to the party’s slogan for the January 23 parliamentary elections.

On April 7, 1939 Italian Fascist forces invaded Albania, facing little resistance. In recent week, Spahiu had claimed that the protest organized by the alliance would bring down Berisha’s government.

A former deputy head of the High Council of Justice, Spahiu set up the nationalist party in February 2012, drawing support from a namesake organization of Albanian football fans.

The party is known for calling for the unification of Albanian lands in the Balkans, but its position has wavered depending on the political climate in recent months.    

“We today presented our motto that will lead us in the battle against the infidels and the corrupt,” Spahiu said at the rally.

“We seek the trust of Albanians and pray to god to lead us in our difficult struggle against traitors and anti-Albanians,” he concluded.  

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