Macedonia's Political Talks End in Deadlock

Southeast Europe | July 13, 2016, Wednesday // 10:01|  views

File photo, BGNES

The five-hour talks among the key political parties in Macedonia have again failed to yield results, local media report.

Held at the EU residency in Przino, near Skopje, the meeting has not produced an agreement among parties on the main divisive issues that have fueled the political crisis in the country.

Macedonia was to hold early elections on June 05, but these were postponed indefinitely amid protests over a blanket amnesty (later revoked) on politicians involved in a wiretapping affair, but also due to the fact that only one of the major parties, main ruling VMRO-DPMNE, had registered for the vote.

No common ground has been reached on issues such as the clearing of electoral rolls, media freedom, and the future of the Special Prosecutor's Office (SPO).

No time frame for elections has been agreed either, according to daily Utrinski vesnik.

Another meeting is due on Wednesday, July 13, MIA news agency writes.

US Ambassador Jess Baily and EU envoy Aivo Orav are brokering the talks.

Baily is quoted as saying the debate was "constructive" and that he is not disappointed by the lack of agreement as it requires a longer time.

The new round of Przino talks come against the backdrop of a visit by US Assistant State Secretary Victoria Nuland, who has been meeting Macedonian officials, including SPO head Katica Janeva to discuss what the prosecutor describes as obstacles created by other institutions.

The SPO is looking into the illegal wiretapping affair revealed by the socialist opposition that caused Macedonia to plunge into a crisis last year.

The opposition then alleged, presenting audio recordings, that conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, which has been at the helm of the country for the last decade, is snooping on a number of politicians, judiciary members, journalists, and many others. VMRO-DPMNE then accused socialist SDSM of trying to stage a coup d'etat with the help of a foreign intelligence service.

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Tags: aivo orav, VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, Jess Baily, macedonia, Przino, Victoria Nuland


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