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Ruling Party Threatens To Leave Coalition

Sun., March 30, 1997

President Sali Berisha’s party threatened to pull out of the caretaker government Saturday, accusing its coalition partners of inciting violence by signing a joint declaration with insurgents.

Nine more people were reported dead in the violence and choas that have convulsed the Balkan nation since investors’ anger over failed investment schemes turned this month into armed rebellion.

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council approved sending a force into Albania to protect foreign relief efforts. In addition to violence, the country also faces a food shortage.

Earlier, all major opposition parties signed the declaration, drafted by the insurgents, which called for Berisha’s removal through peaceful means.

Berisha’s Democratic Party called an emergency meeting with Premier Bashkim Fino of the rival Socialist Party and other opposition leaders. The ruling party warned it would withdraw from the coalition.

“The Democratic Party reminds all the political forces in the country that political cooperation with the (insurgents’) committees and agreements with them are an unjustifiable incitement to street violence and they will help prolong terrorism in the country,” it said.

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