Macedonia Ruling Party Snubs Snap Elections amid Tension

World | January 13, 2013, Sunday // 17:14|  views

Ruling Macedonian VMRO-DPMNE party has rejected the opposition's request for early general elections, in the wake of a week of protests and flaring political division in the country.

"Only a year and a half, Macedonia conducted free and fair early elections at the opposition's request," says a VMRO statement released Sunday.

Saturday 7,000 supporters of the rival Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) walked out in protest in capital Skopje, chanting slogans against PM Nikola Gruevski.

Political unrest in Macedonia came to a head December 24, with clashes in and in front of Parliament during a controversial voting procedure for the national budget.

The opposition Social Democrats have accused the Gruevski cabinet of failing to curb spending and stimulate the country's stagnating economy.

Some 31% of Macedonia's working age population are estimated to be unemployed.

"For the last 6 years, Macedonia has had 3 general elections," added VMRO-DPMNE in their statement and called on the opposition to return to Parliament and hold constructive dialogue.

SDSM leaders, on the other hand, have argued that Gruevski's government has totally discredited itself and needs to go.

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Tags: macedonia, Macedonian, protest, budget, spending, unemployed, Nikola Gruevski, VMRO-DPMNE, Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, SDSM, Skopje


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