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WORLD : Albania Separates Police, Party

From Times Wire Services

The government of Albania plans to make its police independent from the ruling Communists as part of the country’s conversion to democracy after four decades of Stalinism, the capital’s police chief said today.

“We will be independent and act according to the laws and not according to the orders of the party,” Tirana Police Commander Bajram Yzeri said.

Yzeri, a police officer for 15 years, said police had adopted a “softly, softly” policy of tolerance toward peaceful demonstrations and would intervene only if crimes were committed.

Albania’s cautious reforms since the death of hard-liner Enver Hoxha in 1985 accelerated this month as President Ramiz Alia allowed the first independent political parties to be formed ahead of elections scheduled for February.

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“Everything will change,” Yzeri said. “The police and justice organs will be de-politicized. This is part of the new Party of Labor (Communist) program to be announced this Wednesday.”


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