Kosovo opposition uses tear gas to disrupt Parliament

Lawmakers try to move a tear gas canister thrown by opposition lawmakers in Kosovo, disrupting Parliament's session, in the capital Pristina, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. The opposition protested over the government's recent EU-sponsored deal with Serbia giving the country's Serb-majority areas greater powers. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Opposition lawmakers angry at Kosovo’s recent deals with Serbia and Montenegro set off tear gas canisters Thursday in Parliament, forcing the suspension of the session.

Lawmakers left the chamber after witnesses said a tear gas canister was opened in the opposition seats, followed by one or two others. It was the second week in a row that tear gas had been used in Parliament in protests that began with the egging of Prime Minister Isa Mustafa last month.

The opposition, led by the Self-Determination party, said no more parliamentary sessions should be held and pledged to continue the protests.

The government harshly denounced the use of tear gas as “an irresponsible behavior not in line with any ethic, moral and practical democratic code.” Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli urged the opposition to use Parliament to express disagreements professionally and respect its rules and the law.

“Their behavior so far is violating such a possibility and suffocating democracy,” he said at a news conference.

One of the EU-sponsored deals gives Kosovo’s Serb-majority areas greater powers, while the other covers border demarcation with Montenegro. The opposition wants the government to withdraw from the deals, saying they endanger Kosovo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Only backtracking from these deals will bring institutional and social normalcy in Kosovo,” the opposition statement said in a statement.

The governing coalition says the opposition wants to come to power through unconstitutional means.

Outside the building, about 100 opposition supporters rallied calmly.

Parliament decided Wednesday that all lawmakers should be checked as they entered the chamber. Police said they would investigate how the tear gas canisters still made it in.

Fifteen policemen and a number of protesters were injured in clashes Monday after Self-Determination Party leader Albin Kurti was detained for questioning.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s