Political Crisis in Macedonia Hits Rock Bottom
The political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia has worsened as new talks among the major political forces brokered by the president failed to produce an agreement on holding elections.
For two months the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia led by former Primer Minister and former President Branko Crvenkovski has been boycotting the world of the Parliament in Skopje.
While Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski from the VMRO-DPMNE party recently agreed on holding early elections, the Social Democratic Union has made it clear it is likely to boycott the elections as well over its demands regarding the election code.
The second meeting of the leaders of the former major political parties – Gruevki and Crvenkovski, together with the two ethnic Albanian parties – Democratic Union for Integration's Ali Ahmeti and New Democracy's Imer Selmani – was held under the chairmanship of President George Ivanov.
The major parties have agreed only on two of the opposition's demands regarding the election code so far, with June 12 being mentioned as the most likely date for the early elections.
"Our conscience is clear, and we are going to the polls," declared PM Gruevski, as cited by BGNES, while saying that his government has done everything possible to overcome the crisis, including by accepting demands they did not agree with.
"This was no meeting. There was no debate and no discussion. Gruevski wants to hold elections without the opposition. If this is their decision, it is their right. We are continuing to boycott the parliament, and it is likely that we will boycott the elections as well. We insist on all of our demands," SDUM leader Crvenkovski said after the meeting.
"We did everything that depended on us. I am calling upon the opposition leaders to come back without additional demands," stated Ali Ahmeti, the leader of the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration, which is in a coalition with Gruevski's rightist VMRO-DPMNE.
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