Thousands rally against embattled Macedonian government

May 17, 2015 15:38


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Thousands of anti-government protesters rallied in Macedonia on Sunday, demanding Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski resign over a wire-tap scandal that has plunged the Balkan country into its worst political crisis since it flirted with civil war in 2001.

Crowds thronged the central avenue in front of Gruevski's government office, many of them having arrived by bus from outside the capital, waving the yellow and red Macedonian flag.Opposition leaders say some protesters plan to camp out in the streets until Gruevski steps down, accusing him of trampling on democracy after a flood of damaging wire-tap disclosures that the West says have cast doubt on the state of Macedonian democracy.

Nine years in power and refusing to resign, Gruevski has called his own rally in Skopje for Monday evening, stoking fears of instability in the impoverished former Yugoslav republic 14 years after it narrowly avoided all-out-civil war during an ethnic Albanian insurgency.

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