Albanian Opposition Socialist Party (SP) leader Edi Rama said Friday that his party is again leaving parliament and threatened large public protests unless Prime Minister Sali Berisha agrees to open the ballot boxes of the June 2009 general elections. Rama made the threats after SP’s 65 lawmakers returned to parliament on Thursday to take an oath and deliver their conditions for returning to work. The group has been boycotting parliament for almost six months over alleged fraud in the 2009 elections.
According to the first SP proposal, a special investigation commission should be set up to look into the June vote. The second proposal is to allow each party that wants to open the ballot boxes to do so. Rama described these proposals as bringing European standards to what the SP described as 20 years of manipulating elections in Albania. The SP lawmakers’ returned to parliament a few days before March 7th — the deadline by which — under the constitution — they would have lost their mandates had they not taken oaths of office.