AP Interview: Albania PM says opposition ruining EU chances

AP Interview: Albania PM says opposition ruining EU chances
FILE - In this file photo from Aug. 27, 2018, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama talks during a meeting in the western port city of Durres. Rama said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Tirana, Albania, that the opposition’s main goal is to disrupt the country’s efforts to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina, File)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prime minister says the opposition’s main goal is to disrupt the country’s efforts to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union.

Edi Rama, also leader of the ruling left-wing Socialist Party, told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that he was determined the June 30 municipal elections would be held despite opposition unrest since mid-February.

EU countries postponed the start of membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia despite warnings a delay could undermine reform efforts and stability in the Balkans region.

Center-right opposition parties are boycotting the vote after months of demanding an early national election and accusing the government of vote-rigging and other wrongdoing.

Rama offered no solution other than “it’s time to hear the people.”