Albania. The infected conflict between the government and
the Socialist opposition degenerated in January in deadly
violence. Four people were shot dead by security forces and
many were injured in connection with a demonstration in
Tirana. EU envoy Miroslav Lajčák and other international
representatives then visited the country to try to curb the
contradictions. The concern was great for more violence
ahead of the municipal elections in May.
Countryaah official site, the municipal elections ran without serious violent
incidents but triggered new charges of cheating.
Particularly contentious was the election in Tirana, where
the votes had to be recalculated. Only after two months was
the result determined: Socialist leader Edi Rama, who has
been mayor for three terms, had lost a handful of votes
against challenger Lulzim Basha. However, the Socialist
Party did not approve of the result and launched a
three-month boycott of the work of the national parliament.
On December 1, a day of mourning was announced since
Albania's last crown prince, Leka Zogu, passed away. His
father King Zog fled the country in 1939 when his son was
only a few days old. Albania became a republic, but exile
lanes crowned King Leka in 1961 and he himself tried to
restore the monarchy in the 1990s. Leka Zogu was buried with
pomp and parade in Tirana.