Kosovan premier 'egged' by opposition deputies

By bne IntelliNews September 23, 2015

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Kosovan deputies pelted Prime Minister Isa Mustafa with eggs on September 22 as he was briefing parliament on the strategic deals reached last month in Brussels with Serbia.

Opposition parties strongly oppose the agreements, which have been hailed as "landmark achievements” giving the Serb minority in Kosovo more rights. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, which still considers it as a renegade province, in 2008.

Klan Kosova published a short video showing how foreign minister Hashim Thaci was also hit with eggs during the September 22 session. According to the opposition leftwing Vetevendosje (Self-determination) party, the eggs were aimed not just at Mustafa but also at Thaci.

After the incident, which was broadcast live, the session was halted by parliamentary speaker Kadri Veseli. The government issued a statement condemning the “act of violence” conducted by the opposition.

"The government of Kosovo considers that everyone has an obligation to refrain from acts of violence and to avoid actions exceeding boundaries of democracy and harming the interests of Kosovo," the cabinet of Mustafa said in a statement.

The government also reassured citizens that the agreements brokered by the European Union on August 25 were in full accordance with the country’s laws and constitution, and would open a path towards the country’s EU and Nato integration.The agreements are strongly supported by Kosovo’s strategic partners, the United States and the EU.

On his Facebook page, Thaci said that the behavior of the opposition MPs in the assembly jeopardises democracy and pluralism in the country. "All this comes on the day when the EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn reports on the progress made in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Kosovo and visa liberalisation," he added.

The president of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, also condemned the egg attack against Mustafa as unacceptable and contrary to the spirit of democracy, saying that it undermines confidence in public institutions.

With the aim of publicly opposing the setting up of an association of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo, three opposition parties have joined forces to try to overthrow the cabinet of Isa Mustafa by organising nationwide protests.

The parties, Vetevendosje, nationalist party Initiative for Kosovo and the pro-EU and conservative Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), are also against the border demarcation deal with Montenegro and blame the government for high-level corruption.

In August, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that following the deals reached in Brussels “there are now no more obstacles for starting accession talks with the EU". He also announced his intention to visit Kosovo in September.

Serbia became an official EU candidate in 2011, but its advancement toward EU membership is conditioned on progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Kosovo is still only a potential candidate for EU membership. The European Commission adopted the proposal for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Kosovo on April 30, which is expected to come into effect in 2016.

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