Albania opposition blocks highways in its anti-govt protest

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition members have blocked national highways in their latest protest of a government they accuse of being corrupt and linked to organized crime, claims the government denies.

Supporters of the center-right Democratic Party-led opposition blocked five separate crossroads for an hour Thursday, asking that a transitory Cabinet be set up to hold an early parliamentary election.

In protests since February, opposition supporters have tried to enter parliament or government buildings and police have responded with tear gas and water cannon.

Opposition lawmakers have relinquished their seats in the 140-seat parliament where the governing Socialists have 74 seats. Most of the vacant seats have been taken by other opposition candidates.

In June, Albania expects to hear from the European Union whether full membership negotiations will be launched and will also hold municipal elections.

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