Albania Democrats boycott parliament to support ex-leader

Albania's main opposition Democratic Party is boycotting parliament this week in response to the suspension from parliament of its former leader, Sali Berisha.

Lawmaker Berisha was suspended last week after he urged citizens to arm themselves, saying the government could not protect them.

Gun ownership is currently illegal in Albania and calls to break the law could result in a jail sentence of up to 10 years.

Democrats' leader Lulzim Basha on Monday said they decided on "a full and overall boycott of parliamentary activity this week" accusing the government of crime links. The boycott will affect justice reforms that the European Union and the United States have been pressing Tirana for and which are needed before Albania can launch full membership negotiations with the EU.