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News 20 Dec 17

Clashes in Parliament Raise Tensions in Albania

Chaotic and at times violent scenes in and around the Albanian parliament on Monday have again revealed a polarised politicial atmosphere in the country.

Fatjona Mejdini
Democratic Party, PD vice parliamentary group chairman, Edi Paloka clashing with Police on Monday. Photo: LSA/Gent Shkullaku

Albanian police on Wednesday asked the prosecution to launch criminal proceedings against 10 opposition MPs, including the chair of the Socialist Movement for Integration, LSI, Monika Kryemadhi.

Albania's political scene faces further ferment as the year moves to a close, after the opposition announced big protests in the first days of January and after Monday's plenary session of parliament ended in chaotic scenes, with opposition MPs trying to block the vote on a new temporary General Prosecutor and violent protests occurring outside parliament.

Police accused seven of the MPs of obstructing police forces while they were carrying out their duties, and three others of violating public order.

On Tuesday, the police said that six officers were wounded during Monday's street protests.

However, the opposition claims its representatives were attacked and wounded by the police.

Also on Wednesday, the opposition Democratic Party filed case to a prosecution against the Socialist chair of parliament, Gramoz Ruci, and representatives of the Republican Guard, for abuse of power and impeding MPs' right to speak in parliament.

On the other side, the Socialist MPs' group asked for the temporary exclusion from parliament of seven opposition MPs.

Parliament's Council on the Rules of Procedure, Mandates and Immunities was expected to take a decision on Wednesday.

In Monday's turbulent session, Republican Guards clashed with MPs and clashed erupted also amid the MPs, while opposition MPs tried to block the vote.

For the first time, some opposition members released a smoke bomb within parliament and the chair of the LSI, Monika Kryemadhi, was seen trying to throw her shoes towards Prime Minister Edi Rama.

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