Saturday, July 23, 2016


Macedonia

Large Pro-Government Rally Held In Skopje

According to reports, the pro-government rally was attended by some 30,000 people, including members of the government.
According to reports, the pro-government rally was attended by some 30,000 people, including members of the government.
By RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Tens of thousands of supporters of Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski have held a rally in the capital, Skopje.

It comes one day after a huge antigovernment demonstration called for Gruevski's resignation following the release of recordings that appear to show ministers plotting vote-rigging.

The pro-Gruevski rally in central Skopje appeared comparable in size to the May 17 opposition demonstration, and was being held outside the parliament building, some 2 kilometers away from where hundreds of opposition supporters were camping out in front of government offices.

Zoran Zaev, the leader of the center-lefft Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), on May 17 called on demonstrators to stay outside the government headquarters "until Gruevski goes."

WATCH: Antigovernment rally on May 17: 

Macedonian Protestors Set Up Tentsi
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May 18, 2015
In the Macedonian capital, Skopje, hundreds of protestors calling for the government to resign have set up tents outside the main government buildings. They say they will remain until Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his ministers step down. Around 40,000 people joined a protest the previous day, after leaked recordings appeared to show ministers plotting vote-rigging and the cover up of a murder. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Gruevski, who has been in power since 2006, denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, talks organized by Western diplomats between leaders of the opposition and the ruling party ended without results on May 18.

On May 19, Zaev and Gruevski go to Strasbourg where they will hold a meeting mediated by the European Parliament. 

The crisis was exacerbated last weekend, when eight police and 14 gunmen were killed during a battle in the town of Kumanovo.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

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