Albania’s opposition started a fire in parliament to block the budget debate

Albania’s opposition started a fire in parliament to block the budget debate
Albania’s opposition started a fire in parliament to block the budget debate
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Date of update: 20.11.2023 17:37
The date of publishing:

20.11.2023 17:36

Photo: Profimedia Images

The Albanian parliament suspended a debate on Monday after several right-wing opposition MPs caused a small fire by throwing smoke in the plenary hall to block the debate on next year’s budget, which the opposition described as a “theft”. of the current social-democratic power, reports the Reuters and EFE agencies, quoted by Agerpres.

Deputies members of the Democratic Party (n. ed. – right-wing) launched about ten smoke bombs that started the fire, which was quickly extinguished by the security personnel, who used the water from the bottles found in the hall.

The incident occurred while the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Lindita Nikolla, opened the debate on the draft budget for next year presented by the government led by the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Before the debate, there was also a physical altercation between the security guards of the Parliament and several supporters of the former right-wing prime minister Sali Berisha, currently a parliamentarian. Despite the tensions and the smoke in the room, the left majority approved the budget in the first reading, after which the parliament session was interrupted.

Berisha supported the action of his party colleagues to prevent what he described as “the biggest theft in the history” of Albania. The fumigants are “a tool that set fire to the unconstitutional procedure of this government of thieves”, the former prime minister also said. For her part, the president of the legislature accused the opposition of trying to prevent the discussion of “increasing salaries, pensions and debt payment”.

It is not the first time that the opposition has resorted to smoke bombs to obstruct the activity of the parliament in Tirana.

The right-wing opposition accuses several members of the social-democratic government of corruption, namely fraud and misappropriation of funds, and has been asking in vain for a year for the launching of a parliamentary investigation regarding them. The conservatives blame those in power for preventing the launch of such an investigation, which is why in recent weeks they have resorted to actions similar to the one on Monday in the plenary session of the parliament.

The former prime minister, Sali Berisha, is also being investigated for alleged acts of corruption and is prohibited from leaving the country.

Editor: Adrian Dumitru

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