Protestors wearing the movement’s signature vibrant clothes threw paint balls at the Justice Ministry and President’s contact office in downtown Skopje as they marched along their usual route.

 

Macedonian Justice Ministry

 

The protest, like previous days, started in front of the Special Prosecution Office, SJO, where people expressed support for the newly formed institution tasked with investigating high-level crime.

 

Marchers, among them celebrities, musicians, writers and actors, wore colorful T-shirts with SJO and “Colorful Revolution” written on them and chanted slogans like “Jail for [ruling party leader Nikola] Gruevski”, “No Justice, No Peace” and “Support the SJO”. Some protestors burned images of President Ivanov.

 

The protest then marched towards the parliament building and the rally ended at the customary place in front of the Government Headquarters.

 

Demonstrators in the civil movement “Protestiram” [I Protest] are protesting President Gjorgje Ivanov’s decision to end criminal investigations against top politicians, largely from former leader Gruevski’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party. They are also demanding a postponement of the June 5 elections, a date VMRO DPNNE insists on but which the opposition says it will boycott due to unfulfilled election reforms meant to guarantee free and fair polls.

 

Anti-government protests also took place in the towns of Veles, Strumica, Bitola and Ohrid. Protests sprung up for the first time in the towns of Tetovo, Radovish and Kicevo.

 

Pro-government counter rallies organized by Citizens for Macedonian Defense, GDOM, were held in Bitola, Kicevo and Tetovo parallel to the “Colorful Revolution”.

 

Counterdemonstrators marched under the slogan “Macedonia is All We Have”, and said that June 5 elections are the only way to solve the country’s deep political crisis.

 

The crisis in Macedonia revolves around opposition claims that the government formerly led by Nikola Gruevski was responsible for the illegal wiretapping of over 20,000 people, among other crimes.

 

"This madness has to end", poster says
“This madness has to end”, poster says

 

Gruevski, who took power in 2006 and resigned as Prime Minister earlier this year under the terms of an EU accord reached last summer, claims that unnamed foreign intelligence services “fabricated” the wiretapping tapes and gave them to the opposition to destabilize the country. 

 

Balkan Insight

 

 

 

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