MPs in the Parliament stacked chairs in the center of the chamber, creating a chaotic scene with red, green, and purple smoke, while security prevented protesters from approaching Prime Minister Edi Rama’s seat.
Amid the chaos, one MP seemingly ignited a small fire, passed forward in a container, which briefly spread before being extinguished by surrounding politicians.
Sali Berisha, the de facto leader of the opposition Democratic Party and a former prime minister and president, accused the government of attempting to stifle opposition voices in the parliament.
Berisha while talking to reporters said, “The battle has no way back. Our goal is to bring pluralism to parliament.”
In the previous month, prosecutors filed corruption charges against Berisha and his son-in-law in connection with a land deal related to a sports club’s grounds. The charges alleged that, during his tenure as prime minister from 2005 to 2009, Berisha abused his influence to sway privatization procedures in favor of individuals, including his daughter’s spouse.
While his son-in-law, who lacks parliamentary immunity, was arrested, Berisha, being an MP, enjoys immunity from prosecution. Despite the charges, he has been directed not to leave the country and staunchly denies the accusations.
Berisha contends that Prime Minister Rama orchestrated the legal action against him, an accusation denied by Rama.