Tirana, 18 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Amid increasing violence in Albania, Prime Minister Bashkim Fino called today for political candidates to stop traveling around the country.
As the June 29 polling day approaches, he said it might be better to put an end to electoral tours of political parties from town to town. In Fino's words, "It's becoming a bloody electoral campaign."
Albania plunged into chaos five months ago with an armed rebellion that grew out of riots against fraudulent investment schemes. The parliamentary elections, brokered by international mediators, are intended to calm the situation by choosing a new parliament.
But violence has only intensified, with assailants spraying bullets at rallies and attacking candidates' homes and families.
The interior ministry reported that 18 people have been killed in armed incidents over the last 24 hours. The figure includes two of five policemen wounded yesterday in an attack on a police convoy.