Day 3: Prodemocracy protests in Macedonia
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Skopje, April 15, 2016. Prodemocracy protesters rallied today for the third day in a row, demanding resignation of President Gorge Ivanov. The democratic public, civil society, international community and human rights activists demand recall of President’s decision to pardon over fifty persons who face criminal investigation and criminal charges for corruption, abuse of power and electoral theft, including highest government representatives.
Protesters are shouting “No pardon”, No justice – no peace” and “Prison for the fascists”. They also addressed the police calling them to lower their shields and join the protests. At a certain point, police withdrew from its positions in front of the government building, followed by applause, and allowed protesters gain access the entire space in front of the building.
Once the officers returned behind the barricades they received another round of applause from the protesters.
Participants of the prodemocracy demonstrations began to gather in front of Special Public Prosecutor’s office to express the widespread popular support to this institutions, which is in charge of high profile cases against top government officials.
Unlike the first two days, when numerous buses arrived to Skopje from other cities, it was noticeable that no protesters from other cities came on the third day. Still, the number of prodemocracy protesters was well over 5,000 people.
Protesters also marched to the Parliament’s building and shouted slogans like: “No justice, no peace”, “Resign” etc.
Earlier today, the Chairperson of the Parliament has signed the act of calling for early parliamentary elections on June 5. CIVIL has reacted promptly with a statement that no conditions for free and credible elections are created.
The river of demonstrators was stretched from the Parliament to the intersection with SPP, some two kilometers long section of the city.
No arrests or violent incidents were reported on the third day of protests.
During the first two days of the protests, several dozens of protesters were arrested, and several persons were injured, including two journalists and one reporter of CIVIL. The representative office of President Ivanov and the Ministry of Justice was demolished. Every day, protests start with a gathering at the SPP office in sign of support for this institution.
Protests will continue tomorrow.
CIVIL has deployed observers across the whole country. Protests are being held in several other cities in the country.