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Macedonian President Revokes Pardons For 22 Politicians

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov announces his decision on May 27..

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has revoked pardons that he had granted to 22 politicians implicated in a wiretapping scandal that has sparked months of political turmoil in the country.

Ivanov told a news conference on May 27 that he had decided "to cancel the decision to pardon all politically exposed people, altogether 22 of them." He did not name those affected.

The president's decision is the latest chapter in a scandal that has roiled Macedonian politics since February 2015, when the opposition accused then-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his intelligence chief of wiretapping more than 20,000 people in an effort to exercise tight government control over journalists, judges, and the conduct of elections.

Ivanov's decision last month to pardon 56 officials prosecuted over the scandal drew nationwide protests that led to the cancellation of an election set for June 5.

The president had been under domestic and EU pressure to revoke his pardons and the Macedonian parliament on May 19 changed a law so that he could do so.

Macedonia applied for EU membership in 2005 but has yet to open accession talks amid concerns over poor governance and rule of law in the country.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP