Night of tensions follow the President’s political stunt

Political tensions and protests on the streets of Skopje followed the public address of President Gorge Ivanov this afternoon.

Ivanov issued a statement that he pardons politicians that are subject to investigations of the allegations contained in the wiretapped recordings. That would be a way out of the political crisis, said Ivanov in his public address.

Among other things, Ivanov issued accusations that the political crisis is a consequence of foreign influence. He said he cannot “allow what happens to Macedonia, during his mandate”.

The first reaction came from CIVIL – Center for Freedom, condemning Ivanov’s political stunt and demanding resignation.


Protesters in front of the headquarters of the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE

Shortly after, the opposition leader Zoran Zaev called a press conference at which he called Ivanov’s act a coup, and said: “I did not ask, neither I accept any pardon!” He called all citizens and political parties to confront Gruevski’s regime, and accused Ivanov of breaching the Constitution, from a position that he earned through an electoral theft. Zaev demanded resignation from Ivanov.

Several thousands of revolted citizens took the streets. First, long columns of people came to the Special Prosecutor’s Office to express public support to this institution that has a mandate to investigate allegations of abuse of power, corruption and electoral theft by current government officials.

The column of 3-4 thousand protesters then continued to the branch office of the President, demanding resignation. Later on, the protesters marched towards the headquarters of the ruling party and continued towards the government building. Now, the protesters are returning towards the ruling party’s headquarters.

Meanwhile, the ruling party’s (VMRO-DPMNE) supporters started gathering at a counter protest. Large number of police units and armored vehicles are deployed on the streets. No violence has taken place so far.

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