Albanian government supporters rally in Tirana

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 20, 2011 18:28

 
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TIRANA, Albania — Tens of thousands of supporters of Albania's ruling Democratic Party took part in a rally Sunday, ostensibly in celebration of the fall of communism 20 years ago but actually a show of strength against the opposition.

Supporters of Albania's ruling Democratic Party attending the rally in the capital's Mother Teresa Square carried both the Albanian and party flags, voicing their support for Prime Minister Sali Berisha and his embattled government, which faces calls from the opposition to resign over corruption allegations.

"Merry Feb. 20, the day of courage, bravery and freedom! This will remain the day of remembrance of the victims of communism," Berisha said during his speech.

Berisha sought to associate the Socialists, the main opposition party, with the fallen communist regime, and portray himself and his party as the defenders of freedom.

"You cannot come to power by force," he said, addressing the opposition.

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