Albanian opposition held the largest protest ever organized
during the post-Communist transition of Albania. In excess of
200,000 people heeded the call of the Socialist led opposition
and came out in the streets of Tirana demanding full and
thorough transparency of the elections of June 2009.
The leader of the Socialist Party Edi Rama addressed the
protesters and thanked them for their overwhelming support. He
declared that Albania finds itself at a crossroads and that the
opposition is determined to persist in its resistance.
" Today you came to this boulevard of the Martyrs of the Nation
in countless numbers, in order to show through the power of our
European aspirations that we refuse to accept as a fait
accompli this undeclared kingdom we live in, this government
that is destroying Albania, paralyzing its democracy, abasing its
justice system, ruining its economy. Today we have gathered in
order to open a new page in the book of our protests, which will
consist of limitless sacrifices until the moment when the road to
the transparency of the last elections is cleared and the path to
manipulation of the elections is sealed once and for all.
Open the ballot boxes, not so that the people understand that
you have stolen their votes. Albanians understood this at the
very moment when you decided to seal the ballot boxes by
force because of your terror that the votes you robbed would
come to light for all to see.
Open the ballot boxes in order to get rid of the corrupt weapon
you used to kill the last elections, so that the future elections do
not fall prey to the same weapon.
This is our compromise:
We do not want you to hand over power to us. We just want that
you hand over to the people the weapon to which you owe your
stay in power.
Brothers and sisters let us resists in this boulevard of the
Martyrs of the Nation and everywhere else, all over Albania,
each according to his or her means, until the ballot boxes are
opened, so that we can save our democracy and our future by
saving the fate of the elections from the claws of the
This is a difficult battle in the name of great aspirations but we
shall be ready to face this battle no matter how high the
A few hours after the beginning of the protest Socialist MP
Fatmir Xhafaj declared that the Socialist Parliamentary group
and a large group of supporters had decided to go on a hunger
strike until the demand for full transparency is met. 22 Socialist
MPs and 180 supporters have joined in a camp build in front of
the Prime Minister's office, in Tirana's Martyrs of the Nation
boulevard. Below is an excerpt from Xhafaj's speech.
"Today the Albanian people bore witness to the greatest
manifestation ever held in Albania in the last 20 years. It was a
humbling manifestation, in which more than 200,000 Albanians
protested in the name of a fundamental principle of any
democracy: the transparency of the votes! Not so that we can
change the outcome of the elections of June 28th but so that we
can have a guarantee that the next elections the will of the
people will be respected and every vote will be counted fairly.
The resistance will take place here, where we stand, and not
one of us is going to walk away from here unless our legitimate
demand for the opening of the ballot boxes and the
achievement of the transparency of the elections are fulfilled.
We will stay here day and night, in the sun and in the rain,
peacefully resisting in the name of a cause supported by the
whole people. We will resist to the end in front of any difficulty,
including the lack of food, for as long as necessary.
Our demand is simple and clear: Open the ballot boxes in order
to achieve the transparency of the elections of June 28th. In the
name of this demand, which is moral, legal and constitutional,
there will be no hesitation, but only peaceful resistance."
* For any information, footage and images of our protests or any
other type of assistance that you may require please contact:
Press & Communication Officer
Socialist Party of Albania
Press & Communication Officer,
Press & Communication Officer