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Opposition MPs light flares and start fire in Albanian parliament

Opposition politicians in Albania set off smoke flares and started a fire in parliament in an attempt to stop the chamber voting through next year’s budget.

The dissenting MPs were protesting against what they said was increasingly authoritarian rule by the governing Socialist Party, led by Edi Rama, the prime minister.

When Rama took his seat for the vote in Tirana, members of the Democratic Party lit coloured flares and piled chairs on top of each other. Bodyguards stopped the MPs from getting near the cabinet.

Video of the protest showed one of the flares sparking a small fire that was extinguished after parliamentarians doused it with bottles of mineral water.

The Socialists, who hold 73 seats in the 140-seat parliament, held a quick vote