Kosovo lawmakers flee, again, as tear gas released in parliament

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 23, 2015 12:34 PM

PRISTINA (Reuters) - An opposition politician in Kosovo released teargas in parliament on Friday, sending lawmakers rushing from the debating chamber in the third such incident in two weeks.

The opposition is protesting against a European Union-brokered agreement with Serbia, from which Kosovo broke away in 2008, and a separate accord demarcating Kosovo's border with Montenegro.

"We will continue to resist until these two agreements are canceled," Donika Kada Bujupi of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo told reporters after triggering a teargas canister in the chamber.

The speaker of parliament suspended proceedings for an hour as lawmakers fled the stinging gas.

It was the third time the opposition had let off a canister in parliament, and the second time Bujupi herself had done so. Police have summoned her for an interview but she has refused to go.

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The opposition says the agreement with Serbia, which grants ethnic Serbs in Kosovo greater local powers and the possibility of funding from Belgrade, represents a threat to the small country's independence.

Hundreds of opposition protesters gathered outside as police in riot gear surrounded the parliament and government buildings.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)