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Macedonian Parliament Allows President To Revoke Controversial Pardons

Macedonia’s parliament on May 19 changed a law in order to allow President Gjorge Ivanov to revoke pardons he granted to more than 50 people who have been implicated in a wire-tapping scandal.

The change means Ivanov will be able to revoke the pardons within 30 days.

The move by lawmakers came under international pressure amid a scandal that has led to turmoil in Macedonia since February 2015, when the opposition accused then-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his intelligence chief of wire-tapping more than 20,000 people.

Under an EU-brokered agreement, Macedonian politicians have agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations and hold early elections.

But that agreement has been unraveling and the crisis has deepened since April when Ivanov drew mass protests by pardoning 56 officials linked to the scandal.

The pardons prompted three out of four parties to boycott an early parliamentary election scheduled for June 5.

On May 18, parliament canceled the election.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP