EPP President Joseph Daul Condemns Use of Violence in Protests, Calls for Political Dialogue

President of the European People’s Party Joseph Daul condemned the use of violence during the recent opposition protests in Albania, while calling on both sides to engage in an “honest political dialogue.”

Daul tweeted today:

Strongly condemn the use of violence during recent demonstrations in #Albania. All sides involved must return to an honest political dialogue, address the concerns & root causes, de-escalate the rhetoric & restrain from any violence.

The EPP has been the largest political party in the European Parliament for the last 30 years. It includes conservative, liberal-conservative and center-right parties of European states. The opposition Democratic Party of Albania is an associate member of EPP.

Both protesters and police officers were injured during the Saturday protest in Albania’s capital, Tirana. Protesters threw flares, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails to the entrance of Prime Minister’s office. Police responded with tear gas and water cannons. Riot police also beat and detained an opposition party official.

On Monday, shortly before the start of another protest, several Western embassies in Albania also condemned the violence occurred in Saturday’s protest. They urged the opposition and government to engage in a dialogue to resolve the political crisis.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said today that he was open to dialogue, but rejected opposition’s political demands.

The opposition is demanding Rama’s resignation, a transitional government to administer free and fair early elections, and for the government not to influence investigations into politicians and criminals allegedly involved in vote-buying during the last elections.