Albania opposition activists battle police over election centers

The country is one step from being totally out of control


Several opposition protesters were injured and at least two regional electoral centers were badly damaged on Wednesday, as activists continued attempts to block the June 30 local elections from going ahead.

Protesters faced off police in a dozen towns across Albania on Wednesday, as opposition-run municipalities demanded that the Central Election Commission, CEC, vacate municipal properties planned for use as polling stations in hotly disputed local elections, which the opposition is boycotting.

Clashes were sharpest in the town of Burrel, north of Tirana, where protesters battled police for hours over the election center. At least two protesters were injured during the clashes. In the nearby town of Klos, police apparently did not resist attacks by protesters who threw out and burned election material.

In Kukes, police used teargas to disperse protesters who had attempted to storm the building using a truck, but later agreed with the municipality to vacate the building. Scores of opposition supporters have been arrested, including some former MPs.

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