US reiterates call for Macedonian president to rescind decision to pardon politicians

By bne IntelliNews April 25, 2016

The US again urged Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov to withdraw his decision to pardon politicians under criminal investigations and to let special prosecutors to do their job, the press office of the Department of State said on April 22.

The reiterated call comes as Macedonia plunges into deeper crisis with daily protests against Ivanov’s April 12 decision. On April 22, ethnic Albanians also staged an anti-government rally in Skopje, showing the widening involvement in what has become known as the "colourful revolution".

“We strongly urge President Ivanov to rescind his decision and let the special prosecutor’s office and the courts do their job,” Elizabeth Trudeau, director at the US Department of State’s press office said on April 22 in a daily news briefing, asked about the situation in Macedonia.

“We and the EU have made our concerns known about the importance of credible elections in Macedonia. Time is short. Much remains to be done.” Trudeau added.

Previously, on April 13, the US Department of State strongly urged the president to reconsider his move, and to let the special prosecutor's office investigate serious allegations of government wrongdoing.

Macedonia's parliament has called an early election for June 5, but according to the international community and the SDSM opposition party, the conditions for a free and democratic vote, which include media reforms and clearing of the electoral roll, have not been met.

EU officials are also considering the possibility of freezing Macedonia’s bid to launch EU membership talks, in an attempt to increase pressure on the country’s government to end the ongoing crisis. Brussels may also impose sanctions on leading politicians, unnnamed sources from Brussels told DW Radio on April 21.

This was subtly announced in a joint statement from EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and MEPs Richard Howitt, Eduard Kukan and Ivo Vajgl on April 21, when they said that the Vienna meeting on overcoming the crisis in Macedonia scheduled for April 22 had been cancelled.

The possible sanctions could be similar to the those taken in 2014 when the EU froze the assets of the ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, former prime minister Mykola Azarov and 16 other senior Ukrainian officials suspected of misusing state funds and violating human rights, which were extended in March 2016, media said.

Meanwhile in Skopje, several thousand ethnic Albanians, led by the organization Movement for Reforms of Zijadin Sela from the opposition DPA, took to the streets to protest against the current political regime and call for democracy to be restored, Nova TV reported.

They chanted slogans against the leader of the governing VMRO-DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski, and its ethnic Albanian partner DUI’s head Ali Ahmeti. “Ali, the traitor”, the protestors chanted.

The two-hour peaceful protest started in the Cair district, populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, and ended in front of the assembly.

They also used the rally to ask for more rights for ethnic Albanians, who represent almost 25% of the population in Macedonia according to some estimates, even though Macedonia has not conducted a census since 2002.

Later on April 22, the regular anti-government protests of the so-called colourful revolution continued for the second week in Skopje and several other cities.

Related Articles

Skopje court rejects special prosecutor's request to freeze VMRO assets

A Skopje court rejected a request from the Special Prosecutor's Office (SPO) to freeze part of the assets of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party on May 23, according to local media reports. SPO ... more

Suspended sentences issued for Macedonian parliament violence

Nine people indicted for their role in violent incidents in the Macedonian parliament at the end of April were given suspended sentences by a Skopje court on May 23.  The nine were indicted ... more

Macedonian interior ministry suspends 16 police officers over parliament storming

Macedonia's interior ministry suspended 16 policemen on May 20, including one senior officer in the ministry, for failing to attempt to stop the violent incidents in the parliament on April 27, ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss