Opposition Democratic Party member of Parliament sets off a smoke bomb on the floor of parliament in Tirana, Albania. EPA-EFE/MALTON DIBRA


Albania: opposition MPs jump in through the windows after Parliament ban


Albanian opposition lawmakers banned from parliament have resorted to jumping in through the windows.

MPs from the centre-right opposition Democratic Party (PD) have been barred from Parliament since 2 November.

The barring was evidence PM Edi Rama was afraid of the opposition, said PD lawmaker and former PM Sali Berisha.

“Rama is terrified, and not even Lukashenko or Putin have given such orders,” he said, speaking from the sill.

Surrounded by the press, the opposition MPs could be seen clambering up the side of the building, grabbing onto the air conditioning union. Once inside they began reaching down and to help their fellow opposition members into the building.

This comes after Albania’s parliament plunged into chaos during a 2 November budget debate, when Berisha accused Rama’s Socialist Party of producing a budget that only favoured their interests and supporters.

Opposition MPs then constructed barricades of chairs to block the parliamentary floor, and PD lawmaker Ervin Salianji set off flares that enveloped the room in purple smoke.

Governing party MPs carried on with scheduled speeches and votes during the disruption.

The chaos, which follows a summer of political tension, could mean trouble for Albania in its ambitions to join the EU.

In May, police arrested a mayor-elect from Albania’s ethnic Greek minority, prompting Greece to threaten to veto Albania’s EU accession. Greek journalists observed Fredi Beler, the mayor-elect of Himara, was an ally of Berisha, and was likely caught in the intense rivalry between Berisha and Rama.

Berisha, a former prime minister and president, has been sanctioned by the US and UK for alleged involvement in corruption.

The PD has been characterised by infighting between Berisha and his rivals since its defeat in Albania’s 2021 general election.