: RFE/RL: Demonstrations continue in Macedonia after presidential ‘pardon' in wiretapping scandal

11:54 Apr. 14, 2016

RFE/RL: Demonstrations continue in Macedonia after presidential ‘pardon' in wiretapping scandal

Protestors burn furniture taken out of the demolished President’s office in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, April 13, 2016 (AP Photo)

Protesters are angry about President's decision on officials linked to espial scandal oblivion

Protesters in Macedonia, angry about President Gjorge Ivanov's decision to halt prosecutions of officials linked to a wiretapping scandal, have broken into one of the president's offices.

Read also Macedonia president halts wiretapping inquiry

The demonstrators on April 13 broke windows of the street-level office in central Skopje that is occasionally used by Ivanov, storming into the building and ransacking rooms inside.

Demonstrators also broke windows and clashed with police at the nearby Ministry of Justice, while another group of protesters clashed with police at blockades that were erected around the parliament building.

Watch also Refugees block Greece-Macedonia border crossing to protest deportation

Thousands of demonstrators were on the streets for a second night on April 13. Some threw eggs and stones at government buildings while others set off flares before police used batons to disperse the crowd.

Ivanov has faced harsh criticism at home and abroad for his decision to halt all criminal proceedings against politicians and government officials suspected of involvement in a wiretapping scandal involving thousands of people.

The crowds of demonstrators on April 13 were larger than the night before, when hundreds of outraged Macedonians gathered at the presidential office and pelted the building with eggs after Ivanov announced the decision in a nationwide television address.

Watch also Macedonia and Greece try to resolve 25-year-old naming dispute

Later on April 12, scuffles broke out when a larger crowd tried to march on the headquarters of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party but were stopped by police.

Ivanov said he was ending all judicial proceedings against top politicians allegedly involved in a wiretapping scandal in the country last year "in order to put an end to this political crisis, which will end with democratic elections."

But Ivanov's move seems to have put the June 5 parliamentary elections in jeopardy.

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