Macedonia Opposition Marchers Denounce Zaev Govt
In what was seen as a bid by the main opposition VMRO DPMNE party to flex its muscles following a period of turbulence within its own ranks, thousands of people marched in the streets of Skopje to demonstrate their discontent with the Social Democrat-led government.
"Here we are, we came out because of the national humiliation, the economic defeats and because we are unhappy as Macedonia gets poorer. We will unite and we will defeat this incompetent and criminal government," opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski told the gathering.
"Elections will come. The presidential [elections in spring next year] are near. Let our presidential candidate win by a landslide," he said. "That will be the first step at freeing our fatherland from the clutches and the chains."
The march started at 5pm in front of the VMRO DPMNE party's headquarters and ended in front of the government HQ. Protesters shouted for the government to resign and booed Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
The march was the first in a series of anti-government protests aimed at toppling Zoran Zaev's government, which the opposition says has brought only "darkness" and "poverty" to the country.
The party plans to hold similar rallies in central Skopje every Wednesday and said that it said it will organise protests in other towns during weekends.
Besides the social note of the announced protests, the date of the first protest march has an added symbolic meaning.
Precisely one year ago, the authorities arrested over 30 VMRO DPMNE MPs and party supporters for their involvement in the bloody rampage in parliament on April 27, 2017.
The party was ousted from power that May, weeks after its members and sympathizers had stormed the parliament in an...