Police and protesters clash outside Albanian parliament

Tirana (AFP) –


Police in Albania used tear gas and water cannon against stone-throwing anti-government demonstrators in the capital Tirana Saturday, as they tried to force their way into the parliament building.

The protesters were calling for the resignation of socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama, in the latest of a series of such demonstrations. The clashes lasted for more than an hour.

Opposition activists have been demonstrating for a month against Rama -- in power since 2013.

Deputies from the centre and centre-left have walked out of parliament, accusing the government of having manipulated the results of the June 2017 legislative elections.

They want the creation of a transitional government to organise fresh elections.

Politicians on the left and right in Albania regularly exchanging insults and accusations of corruption.

Albania hopes to open accession negotiations with the European Union this year, but the government of the country of 2.8 million people is under pressure to tackle organised crime and corruption.