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Albania: Opposition Agrees To Work For Berisha's Ouster

Tirana, 27 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Leaders of three Albanian opposition parties, the main rivals of President Sali Berisha, have agreed to form a coalition government if they win Sunday's election.

Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano said after signing the political pact that the parties would work to rebuild democratic institutions in Albania. He said the coalition also would attempt to bring about Berisha's ouster by democratic means -- not through violence. Others signing the pact were Skender Gjinushi, leader of the Social Democratic Party and Neritan Ceka, leader of the Democratic Alliance.

Thousands of opposition supporters attended a rally for the parties today in Tirana's Skanderbeg square. Berisha's Democratic Party is due to stage its final election rally later this afternoon.

At a Democratic Party rally yesterday in the southern town of Lushnja, at least nine people were injured when gunfire broke out as Berisha was speaking. The president's bodyguards reportedly returned fire and Berisha escaped unharmed. The French news agency AFP says two of Berisha's bodyguards were among the injured, one seriously. Berisha called the incident a last resort by his opponents.