SKOPJE, Macedonia – Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov has announced he is granting a presidential pardon terminating all criminal proceedings against politicians from both the ruling parties and the opposition.
The move is aimed to defuse a political crisis sparked by a wiretapping scandal that has shaken the country since February 2015.
In a televised address to the nation Tuesday, Ivanov said he signed the presidential decree to "preserve national interests."
The crisis was sparked by opposition allegations the governing conservatives wiretapped 20,000 people, including police, judges, journalists and diplomats. Investigations have been opened against conservative government officials, including former ministers of interior and transportation. They deny the charges.
In an effort to resolve the crisis, the main political parties signed a European-brokered deal last June agreeing to early elections, set for June 5.