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Clashes Erupt As Kosovo Parliament Set To Elect Thaci As President

  • RFE/RL

Tear gas is released during a session of parliament in Pristina on February 26.

Tear gas is released during a session of parliament in Pristina on February 26.

PRISTINA -- Clashes have erupted between opposition supporters and police outside Kosovo's parliament in the capital, Pristina.

Police used tear gas and water cannons on February 26 to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters camping in tents on the main square demanding the government's resignation and fresh elections.

Police intervened after Molotov cocktails were thrown at the parliament building.

The clashes came as Kosovo's parliament is set to vote on electing Hashim Thaci, the current foreign minister and former guerrilla leader, as the next president.

WATCH: Firebombs Fly As Kosovo Presidential Vote Looms

Thaci, who led the fighters of Kosovo's successful separatist war against Serbia in 1998-99, believes he has the votes in the 120-seat parliament. Kosovo declared independence in 2008, although that is rejected by Serbia.

According to Kosovo’s constitution, parliament must elect a new president by March 6 or announce snap elections.

The mandate of the current president, Atifete Jahjaga, is due to expire on April 7.

With additional reporting by AP
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