An opposition politician in Kosovo released teargas in parliament on Friday (23 October), sending lawmakers rushing from the debating chamber in the third such incident in two weeks. The speaker of parliament suspended proceedings for an hour as lawmakers fled the stinging gas.
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.
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.
"If the police enter [parliament] and they [members of parliament] approach with beating and physical confrontation, I think the situation will deteriorate not only inside but also outside Kosovo institutions," the deputy leader of the opposition party Vetvendosje, Glauk Konjufca, said.
It was the third time the opposition had let off a canister in parliament, and the second time Alliance for the Future of Kosovo MP Donika Kada Bujupi had done so. Although police have summoned her for interview, she has so far refused to attend.