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News 30 Apr 13

Albania Orders Probe Into Socialist Chief's 'Assault'

Parliament on Monday approved an investigation into claims that opposition leader Edi Rama assaulted the Albanian ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

The committee backed by the ruling Democrats and their junior allies in parliament was approved by 71 votes in favour while opposition MPs boycotted the vote.

Socialist leader Edi Rama is accused of assaulting the Albanian ambassador to the OSCE, Egic Ceka, on April 24, after a speech at the political academy in Vienna, following which the Socialist leader and the diplomat had exchanges.

In an interview with the daily Gazeta Shqiptare in Tirana, Ceka said that after the verbal exchanges, "Rama tried to pull my hair and ear”.

In a statement on Thursday the Socialist Party denied the allegations, giving its own version of the incident.

“After the meeting… Egin Ceka approached Edi Rama, lashing at him and verbally attacking the Albanian opposition,” the party said.

“The Socialist leader tried to calm him down while people present at the event removed Ceka from the premises,” it added.

According to the ruling Democrats, the incident "is of considerable public and state interests” and needs to be investigated because it has damaged Albania’s image abroad.

The probe will last for a month and will be conducted by five Democratic Party MPs.

On Tuesday, Rama said the parliamentary probe against was another "medal for the ruling Democratic Party".

The Socialist leader has been the target of two other investigative commissions, both initiated by the Democratic Party, while he was mayor of Tirana.

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