Violent Protests in Macedonia Target President's Office

Southeast Europe | April 14, 2016, Thursday // 08:04|  views

Protesters destroy the Presidents` office for communication during the protest against Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov`s decision on wiretapping amnesty, in Skopje, Macedonia, 13 April 2016. Photo: EPA

The protests in Skopje against the recent decision of Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov to pardon all politicians suspected for their involvement in last year's wiretapping scandal entered their second day on Wednesday.

Thousands of people gathered in the centre of the Macedonian capital for a more violent protest which targeted the president's office.

The protest began in front of the special prosecutor's office and proceeded to the president's one. Protesters hurled eggs and stones at the president's office, smashed windows and set furniture on fire.

As a result of the clashes, twelve people were arrested and a journalist was injured.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of Ivanov, suspending the process of organising the early parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on June 5 and the formation of an expert government which should be entrusted with the organisation of fair, democratic and credible elections.

The protests began after the decision of Ivanov on Tuesday to grant a blanket amnesty to 56 government and opposition politicians, including former Prime Minster Nikola Gruevski and Socialist opposition leader Zoran Zaev.

According to Zaev, the move of the president is illegal, while the government is accusing the Socialist leader of trying to destabilise the country.

These developments come as the country is preparing for the early general elections which are part of the agreement reached between the leaders of the four largest political leaders in June/July last year.

The Przino agreement, which was reached with the mediation of the EU, is expected to end the political crisis in the country.

In compliance with the agreement, Gruevski resigned in the beginning of the year, a caretaker government was appointed to oversee the organisation of the elections and parliament was dissolved last week.

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Tags: macedonia, protest, Gjorge Ivanov, zoran zaev, Nikola Gruevski, elections, Przino agreement, amnesty, Skopje


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