Macedonia calls general election for June 5 amid escalating crisis

By bne IntelliNews April 15, 2016

The Macedonian parliament called a snap general election for June 5, in spite of growing unrest over president Gjorge Ivanov’s decision to halt a probe into a wiretapping scandal involving top politicians.

The situation in Macedonia is increasingly chaotic and unpredictable. Ivanov’s decision sparked protests organised by civil associations and the opposition, as well as counter-protests by supporters of the governing VMRO-DPMNE party.

Parliament speaker Trajko Veljanovski said in a statement on April 15 that he has signed the decision for the early election to be held on June 5 and forwarded it to the state election commission, the institution responsible for the electoral process. This followed the dissolution of parliament earlier this month.

"I believe that all parties involved in the electoral process will contribute [ensuring] the vote  is conducted in a peaceful and democratic atmosphere and that each of us will be able to exercise our right to vote on June 5," Veljanoski said.

Ivanov announced on April 12 that he was halting investigations into all those being probed in connection to illegally wiretapped conversations between senior officials, which were released by the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) in 2015.

During the third day of protests in Skopje on April 14, five policemen were injured by protestors in front of the VMRO-DPMNE headquarters near the government building, news portal Telegraf said. Some protestors threw stones and bottles at police officers and one was detained.

The protests are escalating, and a larger rally is expected on April 15.

 

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