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Albanian opposition demands Parliament speaker quit, following allegations of murder plot

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TIRANA, Albania — Several thousand Albanian opposition supporters have demonstrated peacefully in central Tirana to demand the resignation of the Parliament speaker, following accusations that he hired an assassin to kill two lawmakers.

The speaker, Ilir Meta, denies the allegations.

PHOTO: Some tens of thousands of Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party supporters protest in the capital Tirana’s main boulevard asking for the resignation of the Parliament Speaker, recently accused from an allied politician of planning his killing, Thursday, March 12, 2015.  Prosecutors have started an investigation whether Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta has set up the killing of two lawmakers, including one fired from the governing Socialists’ grouping after making the accusation without any proof.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)
Some tens of thousands of Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party supporters protest in the capital Tirana’s main boulevard asking for the resignation of the Parliament Speaker, recently accused from an allied politician of planning his killing, Thursday, March 12, 2015. Prosecutors have started an investigation whether Parliament Speaker Ilir Meta has set up the killing of two lawmakers, including one fired from the governing Socialists’ grouping after making the accusation without any proof.(AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

Prosecutors are investigating claims by Tom Doshi, who was expelled from the governing Socialists last week after making the accusations, that he and an opposition Democrat lawmaker were targets of the alleged plot. Doshi claims Meta paid 600,000 euros ($636,000) to someone to carry out the killings.

Democrat leader Lulzim Basha addressed Thursday's rally, accusing Prime Minister Edi Rama of involvement in the alleged assassination plot.

Albania holds municipal elections in June, in a first test for the government that has passed tough reforms since it was elected a year and a half ago.

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