Albanian opposition party supporters clash over leadership | News

The police said at least one policeman and one protester were injured, dozens of protesters were arrested, and the authorities used tear gas and water cannons to suppress the demonstrations.

As the power struggle deepened, the police fired water cannons and tear gas as protesters threw stones into the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Party in Tirana, the capital of Albania.

Police said on Saturday that at least one policeman and one protester were injured and dozens of protesters were arrested. The protest was later dispersed.

The protester is a supporter of former President and Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who was expelled from the party last year after Washington barred him from entering the United States for alleged corruption.

In May last year, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken stated that Berisha had participated in corruption during his tenure as prime minister in 2005-13 and “used his power for his own benefit and for the benefit of his political allies and family”. Berisha denied these allegations. .

A protester attacked the headquarters of the Democratic Party in TiranaLocal media said that before the police arrived, people in the building tried to shut out the demonstrators by spraying fire extinguishers. [Florion Goga/Reuters]

The 77-year-old Berisha is trying to remove the Democratic leader Lulcim Basha, who accused him of being a “hostage” to the left-wing Socialist Prime Minister Eddie Rama.

During Saturday’s riots, Belisha’s supporters smashed the newly installed metal security door of the office with a hammer and raised a ladder to try to reach the second floor.

The police stated in a statement that they were forced to intervene after “a group of legislators within the Democratic Party requested police help because their lives were in danger”.

A man reacted as protesters demonstrated outside the headquarters of the Democratic Party in TiranaPolice say at least one policeman and one protester were injured [Florion Goga/Reuters]

Local media said people in the building tried to spray fire extinguishers before the police arrived to keep the protesters out.

“The fighting will continue… We treat party building as our home, and we will liberate our home,” Berisha said when the police used pepper spray on him and his supporters to prevent him from approaching the building again. Later, he said.

‘Deep Concern’

U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Yurikin, stated that Washington is “deeply concerned” about the tensions surrounding the Democratic Party’s headquarters.

“We call on protest organizers to reject violence and remain calm. Those who instigate violence or undermine the rule of law will be held accountable,” Kim posted on social media.

At the same time, the EU delegation in Albania called on all relevant personnel to maintain “calm and restraint.”

“There is no room for violence in politics,” it wrote on Twitter.

The office added: “Albania’s EU integration path requires a firm opposition to contribute to the country’s reform agenda and respond to the wishes of the vast majority of Albanian people who want Albania to join the EU.”