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Kosovo Protest Seeks Elections, No Vote On Thaci As President

Hundreds of demonstrators are spending a second night camping in the center of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, to demand new elections and to try to scuttle the election of a new president.

Opposition politicians and the protesters are against an EU-backed deal with Serbia that they say infringes upon the country's sovereignty in giving rights to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.

"This regime tried to forcefully implement these agreements and they have not resigned.... We are going to be here 24/7," said Ramush Haradinaj, the head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo party, on February 24.

The demonstrators have said they will remain outside the Kosovar parliament building until the government resigns and snap elections are called.

The opposition has since September used tear gas and pepper spray to repeatedly disrupt parliament sessions to show its opposition to the agreement with Belgrade.

The deal gives greater autonomy to Kosovo's minority ethnic Serbs and includes a border-demarcation agreement with Montenegro.

The protesters also want to prevent parliament from voting on February 26 for the candidacy of Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci as president.

Albin Kurti, an opposition deputy, called on all Kosovars to join the protest against Thaci's election.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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