Protesters storm Macedonia parliament

SKOPJE – Protesters stormed into Macedonia’s parliament on Thursday after a vote to elect an ethnic Albanian as parliamentary speaker.

Demonstrators from the United Macedonia initiative forced entry into the building in Skopje.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev was left with blood pouring down his face after fights broke out.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev was among those injured after a fight broke out.

The protesters, supporters of ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO party, are demanding new elections.

Politics in the former Yugoslav republic has been deadlocked since an inconclusive election in December.

Zaev has created a coalition with ethnic Albanian parties, but his attempts to form a government have been blocked by the president.

Those who stormed parliament were angered by the coalition’s decision to elect Talat Xhaferi as speaker.

Some of the 200 protesters were masked. Witnesses saw broken glass on the floor and traces of blood in hallways.

Skopje has also seen regular protests against the coalition by demonstrators who believe it will damage the country’s national unity.

Macedonia came close to civil war in 2001 after an Albanian uprising.

Ethnic Albanians make up around a quarter of the country’s population. 

Source: (BBC)

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