Kosovo opposition warns govt against parliamentary session
Oct. 20, 2015
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo's opposition has warned the government against holding another parliamentary session unless it backtracks from deals with Serbia and Montenegro.
After meeting Tuesday with President Atifete Jahjaga, three opposition leaders said the governing coalition shouldn't "provoke" with another parliamentary session because that would "escalate the situation."
In recent parliamentary sessions, opposition members have set off tear gas inside the chamber and thrown eggs at the prime minister. Opposition leaders said they will make "impossible" the application of the deals with Serbia to give more powers to Serb-dominated areas in Kosovo and with Montenegro on border demarcation.
"It would be a great mistake to call a parliamentary session that would escalate the situation," said Ramush Haradinaj of the Alliance for Kosovo's Future Party, part of the opposition.
The government says the opposition is trying to come to power through non-democratic means.
"We invite the opposition parties that instead of creating barriers, to contribute to these processes," said deputy Prime Minister and Democratic Party of Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci.
Parliament Speaker Kadri Veseli said that the next session would be held Friday afternoon, instead of the usual timing on Thursday.
"(We) are political groupings that operate and should operate within Kosovo's institutions," he said.
Jahjaga has sought to establish a dialogue between the government and the opposition but so far the opposition has refused to participate in any round table talks unless the government withdraws from the Serbia and Montenegro deals.
The U.S. embassy in Pristina and the European Union office in Kosovo have said they support Jahjaga's efforts, with the embassy calling on "all parties to renounce any threats of violence, which are both illegal and not compatible with a modern democratic state."
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008, a move not recognized by Serbia.
Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed to this report.