Albanian opposition Democratic Party lawmakers set off smoke fireworks and small fires in parliament to protest the 2024 budget bill.
The Albanian parliamentary session on November 20 fell into chaos when the hall was filled with smoke caused by opposition Democratic Party lawmakers. Security forces lined up to protect Prime Minister Edi Rama’s seating area from aggressive parliamentarians.
To protest the vote to pass the 2024 budget bill, Albanian Democratic MPs set off smoke fireworks in the middle of the parliamentary meeting room and lit a small fire right on the meeting table. The fire then grew larger and was quickly extinguished by surrounding parliamentarians.
Albanian Democratic Party leader and former prime minister Sali Berisha accused the current government of trying to silence the opposition in parliament. Prime Minister Rama’s Socialist Party holds a majority in the Albanian parliament.
After chaos in parliament, ruling Albanian Socialist Party lawmakers continued to vote to pass the 2024 budget bill. The session lasted less than 5 minutes.
“There is no turning back from this battle. Our goal is to bring pluralism to parliament,” Albanian Democratic Party leader Berisha told reporters after the meeting.
Prime Minister Rama meanwhile condemned the opposition for bringing street-style behavior into politics.
Albanian prosecutors last month indicted former prime minister Berisha and his son-in-law for corruption in a land deal involving the campus of a sports club. Mr. Berisha is accused of taking advantage of his influence as prime minister of Albania from 2005 to 2009 to pressure to complete procedures that benefit a few individuals, including his son-in-law.
Mr. Berisha’s son-in-law was arrested, but the former Albanian prime minister was exempted from prosecution because of parliamentary immunity. He was asked not to leave the country. Mr Berisha accused Prime Minister Rama of orchestrating the prosecution against him, something Mr Rama denied.
Ngoc Anh (According to Reuters)