Macedonia: Amnesty Plea For Crowd That Stormed Parliament


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

After Macedonia’s former ruling party called for all those involved in the April 27 storming of parliament to receive an amnesty – members of the current government and legal experts have condemned the proposal.

Ruling party MPs, legal experts and political observers have condemned an opposition demand for all those involved in the April 27 storming of parliament which left some 100, including MPs, injured, to receive an amnesty.

The former ruling VMRO DPMNE party, which was ousted from power in May, weeks after its supporters stormed parliament, attacking MPs, on Thursday said an amnesty would help the process of political reconciliation.

“For several years, Macedonia has been in a tense political situation, which reflects badly on all social aspects. VMRO DPMNE wants to contribute towards the relaxation of these political tensions and to reconciliation among the citizens,” a party central committee member, Orce Gjorgjievski, said on Thursday.

He said the party would soon file an amnesty motion in parliament, although it “sympathizes with the injured MPs and is against violence”.

The initiative came after police earlier this week apprehended five, and later three more people, suspected of involvement in the rampage and in an attempt to kill MP Zijadin Sela.

Former Constitutional Court head Trendafil Ivanovski said that the call for an amnesty for such a serious case was paradoxical, and would undermine the authority of an already shaken legal system.

“There are people in this case who directly committed attacks in parliament. Although it is not yet legally clear whether this was an attempted coup, it is clear that people are being charged with attempted murder,” Ivanovski noted.

Political analyst and former MP Naser Ziberi said the demand for an amnesty showed that VMRO DPMNE was now indirectly admitting its role in the events – and was trying to prevent the investigation from reaching the people who possibly organized or gave the orders for the violent attack.

“Otherwise, what would VMRO DPMNE’s motive be, to get involved in the process of shedding light on the events in parliament?” Ziberi asked Radio Free Europe.

The angry crowd stormed the parliament building in Skopje after a majority of 67 of the 120 MPs elected a new speaker from the ranks of the opposition, Talat Xhaferi.

The speaker’s election paved the way for the establishment of the new Social Democrat-led government, marking the end of VMRO DPMNE’s 11 years in power.

So far, courts have issued only two court verdicts in relation to the attack. In May, nine people were given mild probation sentences for “participation in a violent crowd”.

On October 12, another man was jailed for four years for attacking the then MP and current Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska. Other people have been arrested and await trial.

But the prosecution has not yet questioned VMRO DPMNE MPs Krsto Mukoski and Saso Vasilevski, who were spotted on security footage opening the doors of the parliament building to the angry crowd.

The prosecution also has not questioned the then police chief, Mitko Cavkov, who unaccountably waited two hours after the rampage started before sending reinforcements.

The then opposition, now ruling, Social Democrats, whose MPs, including the leader and current Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, were the main targets of the attack, have rejected the proposition for an amnesty.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

2 thoughts on “Macedonia: Amnesty Plea For Crowd That Stormed Parliament

  • October 21, 2017 at 6:52 am

    No NATO. no EU. No name change. as long as these Bulgarian speaking Slavs of FYROM continue to steal Greek history there will never be an open door for them. De Antiqization must occur before anyone considers memberships to global bodies. A new name is required. A new flag is required. A demolition of Skopje 2014 is required. A renaming of Skopje airport is required. A renaming of highways is required. A renaming of football stadiums is required. A renaming of highways is required. A change of school curriculum is required. A removal of irrendentist maps is required. An apology to Greece is required. An apology to Bulgaria is required. An apology to Albania is required. Veto timeless.

  • October 23, 2017 at 1:49 am

    There will be zero tolerance with FYROM. If Zaev wanted to mend relations with Greece he would have announced the demolition of the grotesque Italian made Hellenic reproduction statues that litter the FYROM landscape, the renaming of the airport in Skopje, the renaming of the highway, the renaming of the football stadium, the removal of the repulsive Baroque Hellenic style facades, the correcting of school carriculum, the removal of the Hellenic symbol on the national flag, the removal of all greater Macedonia maps from government institutions and a heartfelt apology to the nation of Greece for his nation being vile for the last two and a half decades. Cultural theft cannot be forgiven easily. Actions speak louder than words. Greeks do not want to hear politicians trying new age diplomacy that they learnt in their political science classes. Dimitrov, Šekerinska, Zaevand all the Slavic Fyromians currently running FYROM are just as dogmatic about an exclusivity of the name as the Gruevski ultra nationalists. There is no scope for negotiation with these antiques. Greece is the victim here. Our history has been hijacked by Fyromian Slavs. Leave our history alone. It’s not a good fit for you. You cannot pronounce nor read the Ancient inscriptions for they are in Greek. If FYROM wants exclusivity to the name Macedonia they will have to change their official language to Greek for this corresponds with the Ancient Macedonian language. We Greeks embrace everyone as a Hellene as long as they speak Greek. You cannot have Bulgarian speaking Slavs of FYROM claiming they are Antiques. It’s ridiculous.
    Sekerinska can sit around bagging the VMRO for their crimes but she is just as bad. She claims she is a Slav and a non Antique and in the same breath attacks Greece for not recognizing FYROM. I thought that her hair incident would have knocked some sense into her. Dimitrov has also had a go at it. The fool was part of the negotiation team under Gruevski. He failed miserably because he too will never give up the name. These Slavs are like a dog with a bone but in their case the bone is plastic and has zero marrow.
    They know what they have to do and it will never happen. The constitutional name will not change because the antiquated population of FYROM will never vote for it. They have had way too many history lessons from Milenko Nedelkovski. The vile sneaky tactics of attempting to be admitted to NATO and the EU under their provisional FYROM name won’t work either. They are fruitless attempts at diplomacy that not only waste time but also soak up tax payers efforts. Think twice FYROM before attempting negotiations with the Greeks on their history. The Albanian, Roma and Turkish birth rate is twice that of the Slavs. While you lot are busy fixating about exclusivity of your name and your antique culture the non Slavic population of FYROM will become a majority group within their ancient wonderland. The last census was in 2001, these so called minority groups were are 35% collectively. I would hate to think what they are at now. 16 years of fertile breeding has to be worrying for the new government. Back off our history you deluded farm animals.


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