Civil Platform “Ajde,” cancelled their all night vigil before the Constitutional Court tonight due to security reasons tonight after it was allegedly announced that the ruling party were bringing people from across Macedonia in buses to the capital to counter the vigil protest.
“ We believe that for security reasons, it is best to cancel vigil. We have been told that many buses are on their way to Skopje organised by the VMRO-DPMNE and this does not need to to lead to such a situation. Of course we will continue with our activities, and we will see what happens at tomorrow’s session in the Constitutional Court, but by then I suppose the number of counter-protesters before the court will be larger in numbers” said activist Biljana Bejkova for “Nova” TV.
She said that messages began to appear on social media that the headquarters of the ruling party were calling on their members from across the country to get on buses and head for Skopje.
Several thousands of people today around 18:00, under the motto “We have to Defend the Constitution from the Constitutional Court,” asked the President not to allow the Amnesty Law to be changed so persons prosecuted or convicted of electoral crimes, pedophilia and drug trafficking can not be pardoned.
The demonstrators began their protest march before the government and continued marching to the National Office of the President of the Republic and then to Parliament, and then they marched to the headquarters of the Constitutional Court. However, due to the counter protest organized by Stevco Jakimovski’s party, GROM, a police cordon stopped protesters at the new Macedonian National Theatre, and did not let them proceed.
The protests took place under an increased police presence, with armored vehicles and two water canons. Despite this, the protests took place in a peaceful atmosphere.
Tomorrow at 9:00 am the Constitutional Court will discuss the motion to amend the Amnesty Law, but the session will be closed to the public and will take place without the presence of journalists.