Thousands of members and supporters of the opposition Socialist Party (SP) rallied in Tirana on Friday (May 14th) on behalf of about 200 people who started hunger strikes two weeks ago, demanding transparency in the June 2009 general elections. The protestors gathered in the main square chanting “Open the ballot boxes or leave!” The hunger strikers, including 22 SP lawmakers, are in tents outside the government building, insisting on an investigation and a reopening of some of the ballot boxes used last year. The government rejects these demands as “illegal”.
Also Friday, OSCE Ambassador to Tirana Robert Bosch said that a “very good” compromise proposal — backed by much of the international community — was tabled on Thursday. He did not elaborate.