By Sinisa Jakov Marusic
VMRO DPMNE leader and former prime minister Nikola Gruevski on Saturday savaged the work of Macedonia’s election commission, the DIK, after it accepted a complaint about the recent general election result filed by an opposition party.
Speaking on Saturday evening in front of party supporters massed for a third day in front of the electoral commission’s headquarters, Gruevski read out a proclamation which began by accusing the DIK of reaching “unlawful decisions” whose aim was to cheat the will of the people.
“The work of the DIK has turned into parody. We have information that foreign representatives are interfering with [the work of] some DIK members [to commit] electoral engineering. Some DIK members are not independent,” Gruevski said.
He added that his party would not participate in any possible election reruns in some areas.
Gruevski delivered his uncompromising response after the DIK accepted one out of eight electoral complaints filed by the opposition BESA party and after it rejected seven filed by the main opposition Social Democratic Union, SDSM.
The DIK is still mulling the last SDSM complaint which, if accepted, could have an impact on the outcome of the poll and could even out the number of MPs that the main ruling and opposition parties won in last Sunday’s vote.
According to preliminary unofficial results, VMRO DPMNE won 51 of the 120 seats in parliament and the SDSM won 49.
Gruevski went on to say that his party was withdrawing from the format of party meetings between the four strongest parties being mediated by foreign representatives or ambassadors, which has been used in the past two years of political crisis in the country. It appeared to signal an end to the EU-mediated “Przino agreement”, which established the format.
“Some ambassadors have begun to interfere in [Macedonia’s] internal affairs too much. That has to end. Some ambassadors have to stop doing that. We demand that they stay within the frameworks of their diplomatic mandates,” Gruevski said.
He also said his party would no longer accept any solutions towards overcoming the political crisis which were “not standard” practice in EU countries.
Gruevski then held out a threat to civil sector bodies and NGOs that receive funds from abroad, saying his party would “fight for the de-Soros-isation of the country”, referring to organisations actually or allegedly funded by billionaire financier George Soros.
In the past few days, VMRO DPMNE politicians and prominent supporters have heated up the crowds gathered in front of the DIK building, accusing the SDSM of plotting “treason”.
One speaker warned of re-enacting in Macedonia a “Night of Long Knives”, referring to events in Nazi Germany in 1934 when the Hiter regime carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions to consolidate Hitler’s absolute power.
Pro-government supporters have also published the home addresses of opposition activists in the so-called “colourful revolution” movement on social networks, with warning notices reading, “Get ready, we are coming”.
Some have been carrying banners reading “Baily Out”, referring to US Ambassador Jess Baily whom they accuse of interfering in the work of the DIK, which he denies.
Last Sunday’s elections have clearly failed to resolve a prolonged political crisis that began last year when the SDSM released wiretaps that it said showed Gruevski’s government had illegally wiretapped over 20,000 people, among other alleged crimes.
Gruevski, who took power in 2006 and resigned as prime minister earlier this year under an EU-brokered accord reached last summer, claims unnamed foreign intelligence services “fabricated” the wiretapping tapes and gave them to the SDSM to destabilise the country.
The ruling party claims that the frequent anti-government protests staged in the past two years dubbed the “colorful revolution” are part of the same scenario.
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