Kosovar minister’s car burnt amid tensions with opposition

'Anarchists' blamed for setting fire to car owned by Kosovar minister’s family, government denounces attack

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Kosovo police officers weeraing gas masks inspect the parliament, after tear gas was launched by opposition lawmakers, disrupting the first parliamentary session of the year on February 19, 2016.

Kosovar government is blaming what it calls "paramilitary anarchists" for setting fire to a car owned by a minister's family as part of a series of anti-government activities by the opposition.

The government issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing what it called "an unprecedented criminal attack, aimed at creating an atmosphere of violence and fear."

The car, which was burned overnight in Pristina, belonged to the family of Agriculture Minister Memli Krasniqi. The statement suggested the incident was part of a pattern of actions by its opponents.

Since September, the opposition has disrupted parliament with tear gas, pepper spray, whistles and water bottles to reject a deal between Kosovo and Serbia reached last year, which gives more powers to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.

The opposition also rejects a border demarcation pact with Montenegro.

Since Tuesday, opposition has pitched tents in downtown Pristina calling for the government's resignation and fresh elections, or they won't move from the place.

The government accuses the opposition of trying to take power through violence.

The parliament held a session on Wednesday without opposition lawmakers, most of whom were suspended after violence in the previous session. The opposition said they didn't go because they didn't want to be confronted by police.

The opposition is also protesting against Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the only declared candidate for the post of president so far.

The first vote of electing the new president is expected this week in the 120-seat Parliament, which is dominated by the governing coalition.

TRTWorld, AP