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Speaker Jakup Krasniqi accused Prime Minister Thaci and Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi of abusing the police for their own interests in a row over the handling of a protest.
Kosovo's Speaker, Jakup Krasniqi, has accused the government of putting parliament under a police siege, and called for the removal of forces brought in, he said, for political and not security reasons.
The speaker said that according to the rules only he had the right to call in extra security forces at short notice, without abusing his authority.
“Parliament is led by its President, and without his order, no police unit can be called inside parliament's premises," he said.
"I call on the government, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior not to abuse policemen and policewomen whose job is to protect democracy and freedom, and defend their own dignity and that of parliament,” he said.
“Those men and women should not be used for the personal interests of anyone. No one has the right to use them for private issues,” he added.
His speech in parliament on Thursday resulted in Prime Minister Hashim Thaci leaving the chamber.
Krasniqi’s remarks follow Wednesday’s clash between activists and MPs from the opposition Self-Determination and police during a protest called to block the sale of the power distribution company.
Sixty-six opposition activists and an MP were arrested and a total of 19 persons, from both camps, were injured in the clashes.
The situation escalated when a group of Self-determination MPs, led by their president, Albin Kurti, crossed the security fence. The Interior Minister, Bajram Rexhepi, then went out and ordered the Special Police to intervene and stop anyone entering the building.
In his speech, Krasniqi said that Kosovo does not need violent police, nor does it wishes to become a police state.
“Our country needs justice and justice is not made by Bajram Rexhepi.... Who gave him that right?” he asked.
“When national security is at stake, it’s up to the Homeland Security Council to decide how to proceed. A minister can’t order any police force to enter parliament. Therefore, this should be the last time that people are not held accountable for their acts,” he added.
The Speaker complained about the increased number of police forces located on Thursday morning outside the parliament, which he considered a threat to MPs and a “police siege".
He finished his speech by halting the session until the forces were removed from the parliament’s surroundings.
“While we have police forces putting parliament under siege... Parliament cannot hold a normal session under such pressure. Therefore I demand the immediate removal of the police forces... and after an hour we will continue the session,” Krasniqi said.
At the end of the session some opposition MPs cheered the Speaker, who comes from the Democratic Party, PDK, the same party as the Prime Minister and Interior Minister.
Police forces were then withdrawn from around the parliament. Thaci and Rexhepi refused to comment on the accusations. The session continued in the afternoon.
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