Thousands took to the streets of Albania's capital, Tirana, as demonstrators opposed Prime Minister Edi Rama, and his Socialist Party, alleged to be shrouded in a corruption controversy.
Chaos ensued Saturday as thousands of protestors swarmed Albania's capital, Tirana, to confront Prime Minister Edi Rama at his residence, which led to clashes with police.
According to RT, Rama has been facing calls to resign from the opposition Democratic Party, having been accused of corruption pertaining to the construction of a highway around Tirana.
Issuing a speech during a press conference, Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha claimed that, "the government was caught stealing, and should go."
In an outlandish show of defiance, Basha continued to accuse the Rama government of provoking the violence with "a lackluster response to the demonstrations," and suggested that the DP of Albania retaliate by burning the parliamentary mandates of the deputies.
According to progressive Albanian news organization Politiko, Basha argued that, "Yesterday's protest told the world that we are a European people," and that, "The burning of parliamentary mandates in support of the aspiration of you yesterday proved that it is nationwide and unstoppable, the defense of democracy and the rule of law, a traitorous government and free and fair elections."
Meanwhile, footage filmed by the Ruptly video agency showed a more violent side to the protests, with participants of the demonstration tearing down a green safety net around the scaffolding erected over the building's entrance to protect its illuminated marquee – an artwork by renowned French artist Philippe Parreno.
RT reports that, "the protesters could be seen pulling the net and breaking metal bars off the scaffolding, which they then used as rams to try and force their way into the building."
Despite valiant attempts, breaking into Rama's residence proved unsuccesful.
Rama responded to the unrest by tweeting a picture of a destroyed mushroom scuplture by German artist Carsten Holler, which had been on display in the residence's garden.
"Carsten, this is not Albania, they are not Albanians," Rama, who is himself a well-known artist in his country and beyond, tweeted.
KEPURDHA - Vepër e Carsten Holler,pjesë e një cikli të ekspozuar në disa muze,dhuruar Kryeministrisë pas një vizite në vendin tonë, që e ktheu artistin e famshëm bashkëkohor në një ambasador të Shqipërisë e shqiptarëve.Ndjesë Carsten,kjo s'është Shqipëria këta s'janë shqiptarët�� pic.twitter.com/V2fZssPuSr— Edi Rama (@ediramaal) February 16, 2019