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News 21 Feb 14

Albanian Opposition Lambast 'Mafia' Government

More than 5,000 supporters of the opposition Democratic Party rallied in Tirana on Thursday, accusing the centre-left government of being in thrall to oligarchs and the mafia.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

Addressing the rally, the Democratic Party head, Lulzim Basha, said Thursday’s March, held on the 23rd anniversary of the overthrow of the commuist regime, was only the start of a broader protest campaign.

“Today, like 23 years ago Albania stands at a dangerous crossroads, because the government of [Socialist Prime Minister Edi] Rama ... is destroying important values like the rule of law, free votes and democracy,” Basha said.

“We are here to serve as a barricade against oligarchs and the capture of power by the mafia,” Basha added.

Basha also criticized the government for failing to obtain the EU candidate status for Albania in December.

Despite predictions of unrest in the media, the protest was peaceful and no incidents were recorded.  

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