Pro-government Macedonians rally against opposition

Pro-government rally to gather Gruevski supporters against protesters wanting his resignation

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Following Sunday’s protests against Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the Macedonian government and pro-government organisations and citizens have planned a demonstration in support of the government on Monday evening.

The counter-rally was organised because Macedonia was under “a direct attack aiming at destabilisation,” according to its supporters. The rally decision came after the participation of Zoran Zaev at the  “tent-camp” rally in front of the parliament building on Sunday evening.

Opposition leader Zaev announced during the Sunday’s rally that they will remain in the streets until the Prime Minister Gruevski resigns and a new transitional government is organised.

Following Zaev’s comments the anti-government demonstrations continued during the evening in the capital city Skopje. Some of the demonstrators, including Zaev himself, decided to sit up all night in front of the government building and tens of tents were erected in front of the parliament.

Zaev said that 4,600 protesters will not leave the “tent-camp” until Gruevski and the parliament resigns.

Just before Sunday’s rally began Gruevski declared that he will continue to his duty as a Prime Minister and accused opposition party leader Zaev of working with foreign intelligence services to create civil unrest.

Gruevski said "I have no intention of resigning or any formation of an interim government. I feel it is my duty to find a solution for the country to move forward and this will happen.''

Meanwhile,the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday accused the West of stoking political tension and of fomenting a "color revolution" in the troubled Balkan country.

The Macedonian opposition organised a street demonstration on Sunday with thousands of people in the capital Skopje, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski who is under fire due to wiretapping and corruption allegations which have emerged in the past several months.  

The mass protests aimed to reiterate the opposition’s call for the resignation of Gruevski who is accused of wiretapping, corruption, weak policies and an ailing economy by the main opposition figure Zoran Zaev, the leader of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.

On Tuesday, Macedonia’s interior and transport ministers together with the head of intelligence resigned as the government of Gruevski came under pressure in the wake of the opposition’s wiretapping allegations.

The resignation of those top officials coincided with an incident in Kumonovo last Sunday when at least eight police officers and 14 members of an “armed group” were killed after a day-long clash in the northern border city.

Kumanovo is one of the areas of Macedonia with a dense ethnic Albanian population, and an ethnic uprising was staged in the city May 2001.

Leaders of the four Macedonian major parties decided to meet on Monday to find a solution to the current unrest in the country.

TRTWorld and agencies