The Macedonian parliament rejected a motion to impeach President Gjorge Ivanov over his decision to pardon 56 officials involved in a wiretap scandal that triggered a year-long political crisis.
The biggest opposition party, the Social Democrats, filed a motion to open impeachment proceedings but did not secure the required two-third majority needed to succeed. Parliament rejected the initiative by 47 to 35 on June 21.
Stefan Bogojev of the Social Democrats said Ivanov "does not deserve to be called the president" after pardoning officials who had been investigated over wiretaps alleging ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski and his close allies authorized eavesdropping on more than 20,000 people.
Ivanov's decision drew nationwide protests that led to the cancellation of an election set for June 5. But two weeks ago Ivanov bowed to pressure from European Union and U.S. officials and revoked the pardons.
Both the ruling VMRO party and the Social Democrats agree that new elections would be a way out of the crisis. But the Social Democrats say free and fair elections are not possible unless voter lists are updated and media freedom is guaranteed.