Kosovo MPs lob teargas to prevent vote on border with Montenegro

22 March, 2018, 01:10 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • The parliament had been set to vote on an agreed border with Montenegro

Politicians attempted to return to the chamber after the session was adjourned, but protesters released more tear gas.

Kosovo's opposition lawmakers release a tear gas canister inside the country's parliament in Pristina on March 21, 2018.

The proposed deal is a precondition set by the European Union to give Kosovo's citizens the ability to travel freely inside a European visa-free zone.

It is unclear how the lawmakers were able to bring tear gas into the hall, the AP said. (EPA/Valdrin Xhemaj) A security member inspects the Kosovo's Parliament room.

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The session on ratification of the deal started March 20, when Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj urged MPs to vote, saying that a vote for the demarcation deal "is a vote for the state of Kosovo, for the country's Euro-Atlantic perspective and for freedom of movement".

There's been a lot of debate in Kosovo over a border agreement with neighbouring Montenegro.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and wants to join the European Union in the future, the Independent said.

The opposition party are so against it that party leader Levizja Vetvendosje took matters into his own hands by setting off tear gas.

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Two members of the governing coalition were injured on Wednesday, but lawmakers nonetheless pledged that the vote would go forward.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn also strongly condemned the use of tear gas.

The opposition Self-Determination party, which used tear in the Kosovo Assembly chambers to stop the vote, says Kosovo loses territory under the agreement. "Demarcation is an internal Kosovar issue that pits the majority of political parties on the mainstream versus the minority nationalists who consider the deal is a betrayal of national interests", Petrit Selimi, a former minister of foreign affairs in Kosovo, told Newsweek.

"It looks like the votes have been secured. So I expect the law to pass within the day".

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