Sunday, June 26, 2022

Opposition rally demands early elections in northern Macedonia

Thousands of supporters of Northern Macedonia’s main opposition party VMRO-DPMNE gathered in the center of the capital Skopje on Saturday night to put pressure on the left-wing government to call an election two years before the end of its term.

Center-right VMRO-DPMNE has accused the ruling Social Democratic government of slandering northern Macedonia in corruption, destroying the economy and deteriorating public health and education systems. It organized Saturday’s protest rally under the slogan “This is too much! Protest for change.”

“The government is the cause of all our accidents and national disappointments. It is a voice against injustice and poor living conditions. There must be a change,” opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski told the rally.

Annual inflation in the small Balkan country of about 1.8 million increased for the ninth consecutive month in May to reach a 14-year high of 11.9%, from 10.5% in April. With average monthly wages around 480 euros, unions are pushing the government for at least a 10% increase, arguing that current earnings cannot cover basic needs. Food and energy prices have risen by 30% to 50% since the start of the war in Ukraine in February.

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The ruling Social Democrats replied that they opposed early polls and accused VMRO-DPMNE and its leader of protesting exclusively for “personal and party interests”.

“Instead of being constructive and cooperative, Mickoski abuses every important process in an attempt to make a small political profit,” the ruling party said in a statement.

Mickoski said the government is incapable of stopping the daily rise in cost of living and dealing with deep corruption.

The opposition leader also warned the government that his party “will not accept any humiliating agreement that harms our national interests”. He referred to a possible agreement with Bulgaria that could block Northern Macedonia’s attempt to join the European Union.

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Bulgaria vetoed northern Macedonia’s bid for EU membership, calling for a reference to a Bulgarian minority to be included in its constitution, a formal recognition that the Macedonian language has Bulgarian roots and allegations of anti-Bulgarian rhetoric. to eradicate. Northern Macedonia says its identity and language are not open to discussion and that the solution should be based on European values.

The protest ended peacefully.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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