Tens of thousands protest against Albanian government
Tirana: Tens of thousands people rallied on Friday in front of the Albanian government building in Tirana, backing calls by the opposition Socialists for a recount of ballots from last year's elections.
The protest is the latest development in a political crisis that has shaken the former communist nation and brought the workings of government to a virtual standstill since the polls in June 2009.
"This is the final moment," Gramoc Ruci, a Socialist deputy, told the crowd, which he claimed numbered up to 100,000 people. There was no official figure.
The Socialists accuse Prime Minister Sali Berisha's ruling coalition of manipulating the results of the elections and have boycotted Parliament to demand a recount, which the government has refused.
"This protest will last for an unlimited period of time," the Socialist Party leader and Mayor of Tirana, Edi Rama, told reporters before the start of the demonstration.
"We are determined to continue the protests and civil disobedience, to oblige the government either to be transparent in regard to the fraud-marked elections or to leave," Rama said.