A tear gas canister has been set off in the Kosovan parliament for the fourth time, disrupting proceedings, in what has quickly become a common protest tactic against proposed deals with Serbia and Montenegro. Opposition politicians have vowed they will not allow parliamentary sessions to go forward until the government overturns agreements with Serbia which give more power to ethnic Serbian groups in Kosovo and on the frontier with Montenegro.
The use of tear gas, pepper spray, water and whistles has become commonplace in the legislative chamber over the past three months. In the pandemonium, guards were directed to the upper floors of the parliament building to track down the perpetrators.
One MP was arrested before making it inside the building when he was stopped by police and found to be carrying two tear gas canisters. Associated Press quoted opposition politician Glauk Konjufca as saying: “There will be confrontation. We shall not allow holding of the assembly sessions.” He added that his Self-Determination Movement Party would not allow sessions to be held in any other locations around the building either.
Two Kosovan members of parliament have been arrested amid the growing pandemonium and arrest warrants have been issued for two more.