Albania.  Candle smoke and fire in Parliament

Members of the opposition Democratic Party of Albania lit smoke candles during the parliament session. Earlier, MPs placed a tower of chairs in the middle of the room. The leader of the opposition group claims that they were silenced during the deliberations. The confusion did not prevent a vote on the 2024 budget. “They brought vocabulary and street etiquette to politics,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote, referring to the incident in the council chamber.

The situation was tense in the Albanian Parliament on Monday. The representatives placed a tower of chairs in the middle of the hall and then lit colorful smoke candles. A member of the meeting started a small fire that briefly spread across the Parliament benches. It was extinguished by deputies.

Security tried to keep the demonstrators away from Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who was participating in the proceedings.

Albanian ParliamentAA/Abaca/Abaca/East News

Rama wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter), commenting on the events in Parliament: “They brought vocabulary and street etiquette to politics.”

The party leader accused the government of silencing the opposition

Sali Berisha, former prime minister and leader of the Albanian Democratic Party, accused the government of trying to silence the opposition in parliament, where the Socialist Party of Albania has a majority. – There is no turning back from the battle – Berisha told reporters after the events that took place in the room. During the session, which lasted less than five minutes, the first vote was taken on next year’s budget.

In October, prosecutors charged Berisha and his brother-in-law with corruption in connection with a land deal that included sports club buildings. They accused him of using his influence as prime minister in 2005-2009 to exert pressure “to complete privatization procedures for the benefit of other people, including his son-in-law.”

His brother-in-law was arrested, but Berisha enjoys criminal immunity as an MP. He was ordered not to leave the country.

Berisha now accuses the current Prime Minister of orchestrating the trial against him, which Rama denies.

Main image source: AA/Abaca/Abaca/East News

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