Albania opposition holds anti-government protest

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Albania opposition holds anti-government protest
An Albanian man carrying his belongings on a bicycle passes by a convoy of police vehicles near the main square in Albania, Tirana, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, where Albania's opposition is to hold an anti-government protest. The protest is accusing the Cabinet of links to organized crime and calling for its resignation. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s opposition is holding an anti-government protest accusing the Cabinet of links to organized crime and calling for its resignation.

Thousands of supporters of the center-right Democratic Party, its ally, the left-wing Socialist Movement for Integration, and other smaller parties gathered Saturday at Tirana’s main Boulevard Martyrs of the Nation to protest against the government.

Police security was tight near the main government offices where the rally is held.

The protest is considered a test of support for the main opposition Democrats, who suffered a landslide loss in last year’s vote, securing only 43 seats in the 140-seat parliament.

Albania, a NATO member since 2009, was granted EU candidate status in 2014 and hopes to launch negotiations this year.