In the beginning of May the Macedonian opposition published a new wiretap, they started being published since February. The new one allegedly shows a plot involving the Prime Minister and other ministers and some top officials and the murder of a boy. On the 6th of June 2011, Neskovksi was killed by a police officer during the election celebrations of the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE.
The police denied the incident, but after a few days they confirmed that they had a suspect in custody. The suspect was not on duty at that time so the police officials say that they’re not responsible for the murder, but the revealed wiretap shows that there was a plot to take out the responsibilities from the higher officials. In 2012, the police suspect was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Like the murder of Neskovksi triggered protests, the revealed wiretap implicating high government figures had the same effect in Macedonian people. Macedonians are now on the streets, protesting against the government, but also in support of the government.
The SDSM organized a big protest on the 17th of May in front of the government building. CNN said that 10,000 Macedonians were in the streets, while the Guardian and Russia Today reported somewhere around 20,000 people. The opposition party first said that around 100,000 Macedonians took to the streets, but later the number was corrected to 70,000 people.
The protest on Sunday showed many people who are angry with the government policies, but the rally on Monday - in support of the government, showed many people happy with the government policies. There were more than 90,000 people in front of the Macedonian Parliament. The MEP Richard Howiit, who is involved in the process of seeking a solution for the political crisis, visited both protests.
Protesters and supporters camped during the night. The protesters say that they will stay in front of the government building until the government resigns, in order to restore the democracy in Macedonia. Meanwhile, the supporters say that this is their way of defending democracy and rejecting the attempts of SDSM of coming to power, and that is their reason of staying in front of the Parliament.
The battle of numbers is also the battle of drones, there are two videos on YouTube that show the Macedonians in the street. The one that shows the SDSM’s demonstration in front of the Government is winning, while the one showing the VMRO-DPMNE’s rally has fewer views.
As I said in my last article, Macedonians are united but they have different causes to fight for, they need to choose which way is the best for them. The SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE must find an agreement, because the peaceful demonstrations that we saw during the last few days could end, and people could start to become desperate and provoke the other part.
Last Tuesday in Strasbourg, the Prime Minister and leader of VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski and the leader of the opposition party SDSM Zoran Zaev held a meeting in the presence of three MEPs Richard Howitt, Ivo Vajgl and Eduard Kukan. A solution for the political crisis that is affecting Macedonia will be hard to achieve. While Macedonians are in the streets protesting, Gruevski and Zaev exchange serious charges. The same this is happening between Russia and UE, Russia still claims that EU can do more and that the western organizations are trying to destabilize the Balkans.
The exclusive photos of the article are from a young Macedonian that was in the protest on Sunday.ФалаSara Kocevska (Flickr account)