Macedonia to Investigate Threats to Opposition MPs

Amid claims that opposition MPs in Macedonia are under massive pressure - including death threats - not to support the government's deal with Greece in parliament, Macedonia's Interior Ministry has said it will use all legal means to protect them.

"No one in Macedonia has the right to direct threats against other citizens and legislators. Legislators must be able to practice their constitutional obligation, to represent citizens and decide in their own name and freely," Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski said on Wednesday.

Adding that the pressures range from those expressed in public to others that MPs receive in private and through social networks, Spasovski said the ministry would do "all it possibly can" to prevent "threats and possible obstruction of legislators' work".

Although no MPs from the 48-strong opposition VMRO DPMNE-led alliance has publicly complained of such threats, a party insider told BIRN on Wednesday that he had been shown threatening messages by some MPs who had received them.

"SMS messages not only threaten MPs' lives but in some cases mention their families as well ... They have been sent from unknown numbers, so one cannot be sure who might be behind them," the source told BIRN under condition of anonimity.  

The same source said that threats are mostly directed against MPs who are suspected of possibly wanting to disobey the party line and support the government in parliament by voting for the "name" deal hatched this summer.

Over 90 per cent of those who voted in the recent referendum supported the deal in the September 30 consultative vote.

However, it failed to meet the required turnout to be deemed valid, which is why the Social Democrat-led government of Zoran Zaev needs at...

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