President Ilir Meta announced on Saturday, June 8, the cancelation of local elections previously scheduled for Sunday, June 30. Meta cited ongoing opposition-led protests as not allowing for an "representative and inclusive elections." Thousands of people attended demonstrations on Saturday in the capital Tirana, which turned violent after sunset as protesters near the parliament building lit fireworks and threw flares at riot police who used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters. Further demonstrations are likely in the coming days and weeks; clashes between demonstrators and security forces are possible.
Opposition supporters have been holding regular demonstrations in Tirana in recent months, which have sometimes turned violent. Security forces used water cannons to disperse demonstrators near the parliament building on May 25. The opposition leaders are demanding fresh elections and call for the departure of Prime Minister Edi Rama. Prime Minister Rama and his party have been accused of manipulating the results of the 2017 parliamentary elections, corruption, and having links to organized crime.
Individuals in Albania, particularly in Tirana, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and transportation disruptions near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer