Friday, April 29, 2016

The Colorful Revolution: Macedonia's Evolving Politics

          I'm sure that you've seen in the news the political discourse going on here in Macedonia. It hasn't affected my daily life in any way but these are the facts about why there are currently protests. Furthermore, as a Peace Corps Volunteer I am not promoting either political party but am describing events as they have happened.
          On April 12th Macedonia's President Gjorge Ivanov abruptly pardoned all who were being investigated by the Special Prosecution for wire-tapping over 20,000 people. Additionally, the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party has insisted on having elections on the pre-determined date of June 5th. The opposition has pulled their consent following Parliament's disbandment with only the ruling parties present. They also cite fears of voting fraud and non transparency. 
          This all stems from the oppositions claims, that the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, orchestrated a massive illegal surveillance of over 20,000 people and other crimes. The VRMO-DPMNE claim that unnamed foreign intelligence services "fabricated" the wire tapping tapes and gave them to the opposition to destabilize the country. 
          So for the past 15 days people supporting both parties have held rallies in Skopje and other cities throughout Macedonia. The first night they were violent as a few protestors broke into the Presidents office and trashed it. Since then, with the police separating the two groups, they've been peaceful. Thus, the opposition supporters have taken their frustrations out on the Skopje 2014 buildings, brainchild of and constructed by the ruling party, by throwing paint and paint-filled balloons at the structures, thus the "Colorful Revolution" was named.  To see pictures showing the damage done to the government building and statues click here
            Again, my daily life hasn't been affected by the protests, as a Peace Corps Volunteer I do not support either party yet I have no idea what will happen if the elections are held on June 5th.  Since this is ongoing I'll update when necessary.


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