Macedonian protesters demand resignation of PM Gruevski

Protesters demand resignation of PM Gruevski upon long-running wiretapping scandal as they clash with Macedonian police in Skopje

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Some 2,000 Macedonians clashed with police on Tuesday outside the state headquarter in Skopje as they were protesting about the resignation of the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski who has been allegedly embroiled in a wiretapping scandal.

The demonstration took place against the main state building in Skopje when protesters organised an anti-government rally during which they called Gruevski and his cabinet to resign from the state office.

According to Macedonian Interior Ministry officials, at least 10 policemen were injured in the two-hour clash during which the demonstrators set rubbish containers on fire and threw stones at police who were guarding the building.

The nine-year incumbent PM Gruevski has been involved in a wire-tapping scandal with his main opponent Zoran Zaev, the leader of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.

Zaev in recent months has published some wiretapping records which he claims include voices purported to be of Gruevski and his senior official.

Zaev alleged in the records that Gruevski and his closest men were discussing how to employ members of the ruling rightist Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO) in state jobs, together with picking members of judiciary and swaying of elections.  

Macedonian PM denied the allegations by dismissing wiretapping records as he implied there was a foreign-funded plot against him and his government to prevent the country's bid from joining the European Union (EU).

The southeast European country has been negotiating its membership with the EU from 2005 onwards.

Last week Macedonian prosecutors have convicted Zaev of alleged links to the wiretapping and corruption scandal while he further claimed that his party has more than 100,000 conversations and 18,000 text messages that could “prove” his claims.

In retaliation, Zaev published another wire-tapping audio file on Tuesday through which he condemned Gruevski and Interior Ministry of hiding the death of a 22-year-old who was allegedly beaten to death by a police officer in 2011.

But the Interior Ministry denied Zaev’s accusations and stated that the aforementioned police was already sentenced to 14 years in prison with murder charge. The ministry also accused Zaev of exploiting such a tragic death for his political gains.

TRTWorld and agencies