UK Ambassador to Macedonia Calls for Interim Gov't
Macedonia has been left divided by comments of the British Ambassador to Skopje, who said Tuesday the option of having a transitional government in the country should be considered.
"The question of setting up a transitional government should be put on the table in negotiations between the two sides should be put on the table," Macedonian daily Dnevnik.mk quotes H.E. Charles Garrett as saying in an interview with Alsat-M TV station.
Garrett was commenting on the political crisis into which Macedonia plunged in the past months, with the opposition accusing the government of exerting excessive control over the judiciary and a number of media outlets.
Speaking of "negotiations", he was referring to the talks launched by socialist opposition leader Zoran Zaev and PM Nikola Gruevski's governing VMRO-DPMNE party, brokered by MEPs. So far Gruevski dismisses the option to form a caretaker government, though socialists insist they will not return to Parliament (which they have been boycotting for some time) unless the step is taken.
Gruevski recetly noted "anything but a technical government" could be put forward for discussion.
Over the past months Zaev has "unveiled" what he calls "evidence" of mass wiretapping activity and interference in the judiciary and editorial policies of newspapers and websites on behalf of the Skopje government.
He has repeatedly urged Gruevski to resign, while the head of government has maintained Zaev is carrying out a foreign-inspired plot to conduct a coup d'etat with the help of foreign intelligence services.
Ambassador Garrett also urged authorities on Tuesday to have a thorough inspection of the recordings presented by Zaev as a "proof" of the government's illegal activity.
Last Month Macedonia's Interior Minister announced a probe had been launched into Zaev's alleged involvement in a bribery scheme as an acting Mayor of Strumica, an accusation he consistently denies.
A number of Western officials and MEPs have recently warned about a prolonged political crisis in the Southeastern European country which is aspiring for EU and NATO membership.
Dnevnik ran its story on Garrett's remarks under the headline "Charles Garrett Started a War against Half a Million VMRO-DPMNE" voters, claiming the episode proved that precisely "his state" (Garrett's state, i.e. the UK) was "behind the wiretapping affair."
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