Albania Opposition to Rally in Tirana
Announcing the rally in Tirana, Albania's former Democratic Party Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said Edi Rama's new left-of-centre government had based "everything on deception, falsity and violence against the opposition and the people”.
“The fraud committed by Edi Rama in turning his electoral platform upside down is quickly making his government illegitimate,” he added.
Berisha accused Rama of failing to uphold promises to reform building regulations, install a free healthcare system, cut the price of electricity and petrol and lower taxes.
“This amounts to electoral fraud and if we don’t rise up Albania will never have elections again,” Berisha claimed.
The protest on Thursday coincides with the 22nd anniversary of the toppling of the statue of the former communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, in Tirana.
Local observers see the rally as an attempt by the Democratic Party to galvanize its demoralized supporters following its defeat in the June 23 parliamentary elections.
In the polls, Rama's Socialist-led “Alliance for a European Albania” secured 84 of the 140 seats in the new parliament, having won 57.7 per cent of the national vote.
Berisha’s Democratic Party polled only 30.6 per cent of the vote, 9.4 per cent less than it did in the last general election in 2009.
The results represented one of the poorest showings for the Democrats since the party was founded in 1991.
Following the poor election results Berisha’s stepped down as party chairman, leaving the post to the mayor of Tirana, Lulzim Basha.
Despite his resignation and Basha’s ascendance to the leadership, many believe that he is still pulling the strings inside the party behind closed doors.