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Serbian MP in parliament shoe-throwing incident

By Mark Lowen
BBC News, Belgrade

An image from APTN video showing a man throwing a shoe at US President George W Bush
Shoe-throwing seems to be catching on as a form of protest

Parliament in Serbia has been interrupted after a Radical Party MP threw her shoes at the deputy speaker.

Members of the chamber were discussing a new bill giving wide-ranging autonomy to a northern region of Serbia, a bill fiercely opposed by the Radicals.

The MP was fined the equivalent of $500 (£300), although she missed both times.

The Serbian parliament may have seen heated exchanges in the past, but hurling objects at the speaker's tribune is something altogether new.

The MP, Gordana Pop-Lazic, refused to leave the chamber, after which a recess was called.

SHOE-THROWERS' TARGETS
Former US President George W Bush
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard
Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram
Serbian Deputy Speaker Gordana Comic

Her act came during a parliamentary session on a new bill granting the northern Serbian region of Vojvodina autonomous status within the country.

The Radicals have led opposition to the bill, saying it compromises Serbia's territorial integrity.

Ms Pop-Lazic told the BBC her decision to throw her shoes was the only way to express her party's opinion, after repeatedly being ignored by the deputy speaker.

Shoe-throwing appears to be catching on as a form of protest after an Iraqi journalist hurled his pair at former US President George W Bush last December.

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard have also been targeted by shoe-throwers.

Ms Pop-Lazic assured the BBC her intention was not to hurt the deputy speaker and added that she was glad that the shoes had been returned because she had had to wait for two months to buy them in a sale.



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