Home Page
News 16 Apr 14

Political Clash Mars Macedonia Election Campaign

Police said they would press charges against six people for instigating a politically-charged clash on Tuesday in Skopje amid the campaign for presidential and early general elections.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

The incident happened after Stevo Pendarovski met with Lisice residents | Photo by: SDSM

Macedonian police said they would charge six people over a brawl that took place on Tuesday in Skopje’s Lisice district between supporters of the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party and the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM.

The affray erupted moments after the opposition Social Democrat presidential candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, left the area.

During his stay there, as part of his campaign, VMRO DPMNE party supporters could be heard shouting insults and booing from nearby surroundings.

“Just ignore them and don’t be afraid. This is not a normal way of communication,” Pedarovski told his supporters before he left, after which they were surrounded by the unfriendly group.

The brawl erupted minutes after he left, when the VMRO DPMNE supporters attacked the group that had greeted Pendarovski.

This has been the first such incident caught on TV cameras since the campaign started some 20 days ago.

“The clash happened after a short verbal dispute after the end of the rally of the candidate Stevo Pendarovski in Lisice when several people traded punches,” the police said in a press release.

The main opposition party denounced the alleged attack on its members.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev angered ruling party supporters earlier that day when he said his party would soon provide documents proving corruption on the part of the ruling party, involving Prime Minister and VMRO DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski.

“This happened after we raised the question of corruption linked directly to Prime Minister Gruevski. We suspect this was the inspiration for the incident,” SDSM vice president Radmila Sekerinska told the media.

The ruling party has not commented on the incident but previously said the opposition’s recent allegations of corruption were a “complete lie” that was being used  “to cover the shameful election defeat” of the opposition.

On Sunday, Macedonians chose between four presidential candidates in the first round.
Incumbent president Gjorge Ivanov, who is running for a second term for VMRO DPMNE won 449,000 votes, while the SDSM candidate, Pendarovski, came second with 326,000.

Ivanov and Pendarovski will now go head to head in the second round, which takes place in April 27, alongside the early general election.

The opposition has said it believes foul play was responsible for the convincing lead that Ivanov obtained in the first round.

blog comments powered by Disqus

News

defense-claims-foul-play-in-macedonia-pm-slander-case

Foul Play Alleged in Macedonia PM Slander Case

The defence criticised the court for rejecting as evidence an audio recording during which, the opposition claims, the Macedonian PM discussed the illegal sale of a bank.

macedonia-ruling-party-accepts-possible-mediation-from-brussels

EU Mediation Proposed in Macedonia Political Row

Macedonia’s ruling party is ready to accept Brussels’ mediation in an attempt to resolve its post-election dispute with the opposition, which is boycotting parliament after alleging poll fraud.

macedonian-leaders-launch-dialogue-to-defuse-election-feud

Macedonian Leaders Meet to Tackle Post-Election Feud

Macedonia's prime minister and opposition leader are starting talks aimed at defusing the political crisis in the country, but experts suggest that progress could be slow.

macedonia-opposition-sets-terms-as-crisis-talks-postponed

Macedonia Opposition Sets Terms For Crisis Talks

As the opposition sets five conditions for ending the political crisis in the country, planned talks between party leaders have been postponed to next week.

parliament-to-endorses-new-macedonian-government

Parliament Gives Macedonia's New Govt the Nod

Macedonia's parliament formally endorsed the new government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Thursday.

macedonian-leaders-to-try-to-bridge-political-gap

Macedonia Leaders to Meet to Defuse Election Feud

Macedonia's Prime Minister and opposition leader have agreed to meet in an attempt to defuse the political crisis that erupted when the opposition disputed the April elections.

macedonia-opposition-faces-uncertainty-over-parliament-boycott

Boycott of Macedonian Parliament Starts to Fray

As parliament readies to verify the resignations of opposition MPs, some legislators are making it clear they wish to return to their seats.

macedonia-s-dpa-stays-in-opposition

Macedonia Opposition Party Spurns New Government

Despite speculation that the opposition Democratic Party of Albanians could join the new government after the April elections, the DPA said that it has decided to stay out.

macedonian-s-new-government-cabinet-revealed

Macedonian Prime Minister Reveals New Cabinet

Most ministers in the last government look set to remain in their posts as Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski proposed a new cabinet after his party's April election victory.

macedonia-mulls-additional-elections-for-vacant-seats

Macedonia Mulls New Elections for Vacant Seats

After the Prime Minister said fresh elections may be held for seats vacated by the opposition in parliament, the opposition has denounced the proposal.

Live Blog

Macedonia Elections: Up to the Hour Updates

Stay tuned for all the latest developments, election results and reactions as Macedonia goes to the polls to elect a new government and head of state.

Background

Macedonia Elections Profile

In April, Macedonia will hold parallel presidential and early general elections - the latter considered more important as they will determine who will hold the most powerful post in the country, that of the Prime Minister.