Kosovo’s lawmakers are getting feisty again. A heated argument in parliament today ended with one minister detonating a smoke bomb. Opposition leader Albin Kurti is the alleged miscreant, and he reportedly kicked at least one smoking canister (emitting what may have been tear gas) around the room until two of his fellow ministers fainted.
As the video below shows, the room was already in a state of agitation, with whistles and yelling, when the gas canisters were deployed.
Today’s debate in parliament was about Serbia: The EU is trying to improve relations between Serbia and Kosovo, and the countries’ prime ministers agreed to a “landmark” deal in August, brokered by the EU, to establish an association of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.
To Kurti and his followers in Kosovo’s Self-Determination party, such an agreement represents a step back toward being under Serbia’s thumb. Kosovo, a region riven by ethnic and religious violence for centuries, was a province of Serbia until it declared independence in 2008, a move Serbia strongly rejected.
Neither country is an EU member, though Serbia is making progress toward becoming one, according to the BBC. Serbia is also determined to prevent Kosovo from becoming a member of the United Nations
The BBC also reports that another opposition party leader in Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, said today’s antics in the parliamentary chamber were nothing compared to what might come next. ”‘It is not a big deal that two MPs passed out, compared to what future actions are going to be,” he said, quoted by Kosovapress.
Last month, Kosovo’s opposition ministers egged the prime minister when he was giving a speech in parliament.