Kosovo Opposition Release Tear Gas Canisters In Parliament In Protests Over Ethnic Minority Deal

Tear Gas Released In Kosovo Parliament.... By The Opposition

Imagine a member of the Labour benches releasing tear gas in the Commons.

That's the state of politics in Kosovo, where members of the opposition let off multiple canisters on Friday, part of an ongoing protest against the country's minority Serbians gaining more power.

Opposition lawmaker wipes his eyes after releasing a tear gas canister in Kosovo capital Pristina on Friday Feb. 19, 2016

An EU-brokered deal agreed in August gave the ethic Serb population more say over local government, sparking the current political crisis. Kosovo is 90 percent Albanian. Demonstrators were also agitated by a recent diplomatic agreement with Kosovo’s neighbour Montenegro, which detractors argue threatens the country’s sovereignty.

The EU accord has yet to be implemented ending a review by the country's highest court.

Friday's protest was shown on live TV. Even after the chamber filled with smoke, parliamentary speaker Kadri Veseli, by now wearing a gas mask, demanded MPs remain and continue the planned debate.

Opposition lawmakers release a tear gas canister disrupting a parliamentary session in Kosovo capital Pristina on Friday Feb. 19, 2016

Police finally entered the chamber and the session was postponed. Outside, thousands of demonstrators clashed with police, though no arrests were made.

The opposition has pledged to continue the disruptions until the current government resigns.

On Friday, government official called the incident a display of “primitive behavior, adding that the opposition are bent on “crime and anarchy.”


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