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The opposition Social Democrats announced at a mass rally that they will renew their campaign for early general elections right after local polls are held on March 24.
Branko Crvenkovski | Photo by: Plus Info
The Social Democrats’ leader Branko Crvenkovski told a rally in Skopje on Sunday that the moment the local elections end, the opposition will continue campaigning for snap polls aimed at toppling Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
“If you are ready to wage the battle together [with me], like we agreed, till the end… then I will not wait for the [local election] results on March 24, but I will go out and call for early general elections,” he told tens of thousands of supporters at the rally.
Crvenkovski’s party accuses Gruevski, who has been in power since 2006, of leading a corrupt and totalitarian government.
Macedonia's opposition only recently agreed to end its parliamentary boycott and take part in local elections slated for later this month.
The deal struck on March 1 between the feuding political leaders, brokered by EU representatives, ended a months-long political crisis in the country.
The crisis was triggered by incidents in parliament on December 24, when the government parties passed a budget for 2013 in just a few minutes after opposition MPs and journalists were expelled from the chamber.
But, after the agreement was announced, Gruevski told a rally of his VMRO DPMNE party that early general elections had not been agreed. The opposition insisted otherwise.
The deal that ended the political crisis foresees possible early elections, but only if they’re agreed by autumn, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Macedonia, Richard Howitt, told Balkan Insight in an attempt to clear up the confusion.
According to the deal, both parties are obliged to discuss the issue “in good faith” and come up with an agreement acceptable to all sides.
At the rally on Sunday, the opposition presented its mayoral candidates for Skopje and 80 other municipalities in the country. Over 1,740,000 people are eligible to cast ballots, according to the voters’ list.
A deal has been struck to end the political crisis, EU representatives said in Skopje on Friday, following talks with Macedonia's feuding leaders.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.