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'The Guardian' article about the tensions in the Albanian Parliament, why the opposition is protesting

'The Guardian' article about the tensions in the Albanian Parliament,

The Albanian opposition has lit smokestacks and a small fire in the middle of parliament in an attempt to stop the vote on the 2024 budget.

Lawmakers involved in Monday's protest piled chairs in the center of the room and red, green and purple smoke filled the air.

An MP was seen lighting a small fire, but it was briefly extinguished by the surrounding politicians.

The leader of the opposition Democratic Party, Sali Berisha, a former prime minister who was also Albania's first post-communist president from 1992 to 1997, has accused the government of trying to silence the opposition in parliament, where Rama's Socialist Party has a majority.

"The battle has no way back," Berisha told reporters after the tensions in the hall where the budget passed the first vote in a session that lasted less than five minutes. "Our goal is to bring pluralism to the parliament."

Last month, prosecutors charged Berisha and his son-in-law with corruption in connection with a land deal involving the grounds of a sports club. They accused him of using his influence as prime minister from 2005 to 2009 to pressure "the end of privatization proceedings in favor of others, including his daughter's husband".

His son-in-law was arrested, but as a deputy, Berisha has immunity from prosecution. He has been ordered not to leave the country, but he denies the charges.

Berisha accuses Rama of orchestrating the prosecution against him. Rama denies the accusation.

"They [the opposition] brought the vocabulary and manners of the street into politics," said Rama in X after the riots. Adapted from   The Guardian

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