Political Clash Mars Macedonia Election Campaign

The incident happened after Stevo Pendarovski met with Lisice residents | Photo by: SDSM

Macedonian police said they would charge six people over a brawl that took place on Tuesday in Skopje’s Lisice district between supporters of the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party and the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM.

The affray erupted moments after the opposition Social Democrat presidential candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, left the area.

During his stay there, as part of his campaign, VMRO DPMNE party supporters could be heard shouting insults and booing from nearby surroundings.

“Just ignore them and don’t be afraid. This is not a normal way of communication,” Pedarovski told his supporters before he left, after which they were surrounded by the unfriendly group.

The brawl erupted minutes after he left, when the VMRO DPMNE supporters attacked the group that had greeted Pendarovski.

This has been the first such incident caught on TV cameras since the campaign started some 20 days ago.

“The clash happened after a short verbal dispute after the end of the rally of the candidate Stevo Pendarovski in Lisice when several people traded punches,” the police said in a press release.

The man opposition party denounced the alleged attack on its members.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev angered ruling party supporters earlier that day when he said his party would soon provide documents proving corruption on the part of the ruling party, involving Prime Minister and VMRO DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski.

“This happened after we raised the question of corruption linked directly to Prime Minister Gruevski. We suspect this was the inspiration for the incident,” SDSM vice president Radmila Sekerinska told the media.

The ruling party has not commented on the incident but previously...

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