2017 storming of Macedonian Parliament

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2017 storming of Macedonian Parliament
Part of the Macedonian political crisis (2015-17)
Inauguration of Talat Xhaferi.jpg
Inauguration of Talat Xhaferi, minutes before the storming of the parliament
Date27 April 2017
Location
Caused by
Methods
  • Violence in the Parliament building
Resulted in
  • 20+ arrested
  • Internationally recognized new speaker of parliament
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures
Number
200+[1]
22+[2]
Casualties
Injuries102[2][3]
Charged15[4]

Storming of the Macedonian Parliament, also known as Bloody Thursday (Macedonian: Крвав четврток, romanizedKrvav četvrtok) occurred on 27 April 2017, when about 200 Macedonian nationalists stormed the Macedonian Parliament in reaction to the election of Talat Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian, as speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia.[5] The violence was condemned by the European Union and NATO, who also greeted the election of Xhaferi as new parliament speaker.[6]

Background[edit]

In the years prior to the event, the Republic of Macedonia had been involved in political turmoil, culminating in mass anti-government protests in 2015 and 2016. These protests were the result of corruption allegations, which are the main cause of the Republic of Macedonia's political crisis, against VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski and his coalition partners.[7] They are further accused of preventing a new government forming, following the parliamentary election in 2016, in order to prevent losing power and facing prosecution for corruption.[7] There have been daily protests across the country by supporters of the VMRO-DPMNE party.[1]

The conflict also has ethnic undertones, as the reason no coalition government has been formed was due to the demand for the Albanian language to be the second official language in Government of the Republic of Macedonia, and due to attempts by opposition leader Zoran Zaev to form a coalition government with Albanian ethnic parties.[5] The Republic of Macedonia had seen mass ethnic violence in the years prior, particularly in 2001 and 2012.

Incident[edit]

Around 200 protestors stormed the parliament building after Xhaferi was elected speaker. Many were masked and they threw chairs and punches at journalists and MPs, injuring SDSM leader Zoran Zaev.[5] Radmila Sekerinska, deputy head of the SDSM, required stitches after being dragged by her hair.[7] Police had to deploy stun grenades to break up the mob.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Macedonian police fire stun grenades after protesters storm parliament". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Testorides, Konstantin (27 April 2017). "Protesters attack Macedonian lawmakers over leadership vote, dozens injured". Chicago Tribune. Skopje, Macedonia. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Macedonia parliament violence injures 100". Yahoo News. 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ "15 Charged in Attack on Macedonian Parliament That Hurt 100". IS News. 30 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Macedonia: protesters storm parliament and attack MPs". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Zoran Zaev, Macedonian Lawmaker, Is Bloodied in Attack on Parliament by Nationalists". The New York Times. April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Macedonian nationalists storm the parliament to hold on to power". The Economist. 28 Apr 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.