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Protesters In Kosovo Demand Government Step Down

Demonstrators shout antigovernment slogans during a protest in Pristina on February 17.

Thousands of Kosovo opposition supporters have gathered in the capital, Pristina, calling for the government to resign, accusing it of violating the country's constitution in reaching deals with Serbia and Montenegro.

Opposition supporters came from all over the country on February 17 on the anniversary of Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence in 2008.

"We want to remove [Prime Minister] Isa Mustafa and his fellow politicians. This is why we are gathered here today," said Visar Ymeri, head of the opposition Self-Determination party, in a speech to the protesters.

The opposition rejects a deal between Kosovo and Serbia reached last year, giving more powers to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo. In December, the Constitutional Court decided that part of it was not in line with the constitution.

The opposition is also against a border demarcation deal with Montenegro and has called for a referendum or fresh elections.

They have attempted to disrupt the work of parliament with tear gas, pepper spray, and whistles.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP