News 09 Jan 13

Macedonian Opposition Sets Election Terms

Oppostion says it will only take part in March local elections if ministers in charge of police, justice and finance are changed.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Recent opposition raly in Skopje | Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The central board of the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, on Tuesday said that only a change in three key ministerial posts, and their replacement by people who meet their approval, will enable them to take part in the elections.

The opposition deems Police Minister Gordana Jankulovska, Justice Minister Blerim Bexheti, and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski unfit for office.

Immediately after New Year, the Social Democrats said they will boycott the local elections on the grounds that the Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, plans to rig the polls. They also said they will boycott any elections as long as he is in power.

The opposition also demands parallel early general elections in March as well as increased international monitoring of the polls and a “purification” of the electoral roll. Both domestic and international observers have said they suspect it contains fictional or deceased voters.

The Social Democrats also want a new head of the national broadcasting service, MRTV, to ensure impartial media coverage of the vote.

Macedonia's political crisis escalated on December 24 when the government parties passed a budget for 2013 in only minutes, after opposition MPs and journalists were kicked out of the parliament.

Opposition MPs have since quit parliament and called on supporters to stage acts of civil disobedience against the government of Gruevski and his centre-right VMRO DPMNE party.

Since New Year, opposition parties have continued their protests by blocking key roads and organising "open parliament" sessions in towns across the country.

December 24 saw a tense stand-off in Skopje between several thousand pro- and anti-government protesters, separated by a police cordon.

While opposition supporters protested against the government's plan to borrow more money to cover the 2013 budget, pro-government supporters staged a counter-protest.

Media reported that at least 18 people were injured in the protests. They included three opposition MPs.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

businessman-arranged-croatia-president-meetings-with-trump-s-men-01-19-2017
21 Jan 17

Businessman Bonded Croatia President to Trump Team

US businessman Jeffory Blackard says fruitful meetings he arranged in the US for Croatia's President gave her a head start on most world leaders when it comes to Team Trump.

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition

20 Jan 17

Croatia Accused of Forcing Asylum-Seekers Out

20 Jan 17

Balkan States Eye Their Prospects in Trump Era

Premium Selection

birth-of-trump-era-divides-balkan-countries-01-20-2017
20 Jan 17

Birth of Trump Era Divides Balkan Countries

Right-wing Serbs are euphoric while Romanians and Bosniaks are worried. All over the Balkans, governments and people are watching to see what a new era in US diplomacy brings.

kosovo-s-serbs-feel-frightened-insecure-and-misused-01-19-2017
19 Jan 17

Kosovo’s Serbs Feel Frightened, Insecure and Misused

Serbs in Kosovo say that the recent ‘propaganda train’ dispute between Belgrade and Pristina left them worried about their security and fearful that they are being used as political pawns.

18 Jan 17

Serbia Urged to Build on Results of 2016

17 Jan 17

Dodik’s Secession Talk Keeps Bosnia on Edge

17 Jan 17

Young Albanians Strike Gold in the Emirates

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 17

Bosnian Serb Invites to Trump Gala Disputed

20 Jan 17

Croatian School Removes Anne Frank Exhibition

20 Jan 17

Croatia Accused of Forcing Asylum-Seekers Out