Feature 09 May 17

Macedonian Violence Boosts Albanian Support for Zaev

The recent rampage in parliament shocked Macedonia’s large Albanian community - and strengthened their conviction that their best hope lies in a new government under Zoran Zaev.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Skopje's Old Turkish Bazaar. Photo: BIRN

It is a warm midday in Skopje's Old Turkish Bazaar, ideal for the increased number of shoppers and groups of foreign tourists clogging its narrow alleyways.

Shopkeepers and restaurateurs, many of them ethnic Albanians, happily rub their palms in anticipation of the rise in trade, cheerily serving their customers.

Nothing in this scene reminds anyone of the violence that occurred in Skopje on April 27, when a mob of supporters of the former ruling right-wing VMRO DPMNE party stormed the parliament attacking MPs.

Their targets were MPs from the new majority, led by the Social Democrats, SDSM, and the three main ethnic-Albanian parties who had just elected a new speaker, the first Albanian to hold that post, Talat Xhaferi.

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