'Assassin' Poster Causes Political Stir in Macedonia

Macedonia's ruling VMRO DPMNE party has dismissed accusations that a poster for a state-funded historical documentary it issued over the weekend with the slogan "Sometimes with Politeness, Sometimes with a Knife" was actually a call for political violence against its opponents.

The slogan refers to the alleged formula for solving problems used by the controversial Ottoman-era Macedonian revolutionary Andon Lazov Kjoseto, who was also known to be an assassin working for the historic clandestine VMRO revolutionary organisation.

"This is a documentary about a revolutionary who fought for an independent and free Macedonia and history remembers him as such, not as an executioner, as some want to portray him," said Dimce Arsovski, a VMRO DPMNE spokesperson.

The party's youth branch in Skopje's municipality of Butel, which issued the poster, calling on its members to attend the premiere of the state-funded documentary about Kjoset, which was held on Sunday, was not available for comment.

The content of the poster, and its timing, when the conservative ruling party has been describing its opponents and critics as "foreign mercenaries" and "traitors", raised an eyebrows among opposition members and government critics.

After barely winning the December 11 elections, the VMRO DPMNE has struggled to form a new government and faces a real threat of losing power for the first time since 2006.

The NGO CIVIL - Center for Freedom, just one among many that condemned the poster, said that the ruling party was urging political violence.

"This is an open and direct call for extreme political violence, which is a criminal offence. The last call by the VMRO DPMNE youth for the 'movie screening' corresponds with the ...

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