Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha called for supporters to gather in Tirana on Monday, July 8, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama. A demonstration is planned at 20:00 (local time) and will likely be held near Mother Teresa Square. Related protests are possible in other cities. Localized disruptions and a heightened security presence are likely; clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The preliminary results of the June 30 local elections, which opposition parties boycotted, are expected to be announced on Monday. Vandalism and clashes between rival political supporters cannot be ruled out.
President Ilir Meta canceled the upcoming June 30 local elections on Saturday, June 8, claiming ongoing opposition-led protests are detrimental to the holding of "representative and inclusive elections." Prime Minister Edi Rama has nevertheless pledged to carry out the elections despite Meta's actions.
Protests on June 8 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 the crowd. Opposition leaders have been holding regular demonstrations in Tirana in recent months to demand fresh elections and Prime Minister Rama’s resignation. Rama and his party have been accused of manipulating the results of the 2017 parliamentary elections, corruption, and having links to organized criminal activity.
Individuals in Albania, particularly those 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.
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