Kosovo opposition again launches tear gas in parliament

The parliament of Kosovo has scheduled a vote to elect the country's new president for Friday in a session again disrupted by an opposition tear gas attack.

Aida Derguti from the nationalist Vetevendosje movement managed to launch the attack despite massive security measures and an expulsion measure against her and several others who participated in earlier attacks.

The opposition, led by Vetevendosje, has been routinely disrupting the parliament with tear gas and pepper spray attacks since early October.

In what has also become a routine, the governing coalition parties reconvened quickly in an "alternate area" and scheduled the vote on the president. The Kosovo president is elected indirectly by legislators.

Hashim Thaci, the former prime minister of Kosovo and its current foreign minister, is set to replace President Atifete Jahjaga as her five-year term expires.

The opposition originally began attacking in parliament to block the conversion of an agreement with Serbia on expanded autonomy for mostly Serb municipalities in the mostly Albanian Kosovo.

The agreement was brokered by the European Union as part of normalization talks between Serbia and Kosovo, its runaway former province which declared independence in 2008.

The opposition also regularly holds demonstrations and has this week set up tents in front of the parliament, saying it will remain there until Prime Minister Isa Mustafa resigns and early elections are called. Elections are due in 2018.

Last update: Wed, 24/02/2016 - 23:05
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