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Albania's president polls local elections under protest



  During protests in Tirana, a child wears a gas mask.

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Reuters

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Albania has previously expressed its desire to join the EU

Albanian President Ilir Meta has canceled local elections after months of protests against the government.

Mr Meta said that the political situation in Albania planned for June 30 does not allow a fair election.

The announcement took place shortly before protesters who threw smoke bombs and firecrackers in front of the parliament in the capital Tirana were scattered by the police with tear gas.

Protesters demand the resignation of Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Opposition groups accuse him of fraud and corruption and have called for early parliamentary elections.

They also want to create a transitional government and have refused to negotiate with the Prime Minister.

Lulzim Basha, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party, has called on the crowd to continue the protests until Mr. Rama resigns.

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Media Title Petrol bombs thrown at Alb Earlier this year, he told thousands of supporters in Tirana that the president's decision to cancel elections was the "first result of our fight against Edi Rama". Opposition parties boycotted the election.

Later, Rama, who heads the country since 201

3, declared that the local elections would not be canceled.

The international community called on Albania's political parties to refrain from violence and open dialogue.

Many personalities, including President Meta, said the continuing political divisions threaten Albania's aspirations to join the EU.

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Reuters

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The EU has criticized some of the violent tactics of demonstrators

In a statement on Saturday, President Meta called on opposition leaders to "protested in a completely peaceful manner".

The member states of the Union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to open accession talks with the Balkan nation.


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