Macedonians resume anti-govt protests

Tira

Thousands of nationalist demonstrators resumed their protests in Skopje on Tuesday against a plan for a coalition government that includes ethnic Albanian parties, five days after they burst into parliament and assaulted lawmakers.
The accord would sideline the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party of former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, which opposes in particular a plan to make Albanian the official language.
Last Thursday evening the protesters stormed parliament over what they said was an illegal vote for a new parliamentary speaker, ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi.
The riots, condemned by both the European Union and the United States, injured about 100 people, including the SDSM leader Zoran Zaev.
The SDSM and their allies accuse the VMRO-DPMNE of inciting the violence and fanning ethnic divisions in a bid to cling to power.
“We’ve been ignored for 60 days. We will continue to come,” Bogdan Ilievski, one of the organisers of the protest, said outside parliament, where a strong police presence had been deployed.
“We have to continue our battle, we don’t have another country,” he said.—Agencies

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