Europe

Protests continue for 3rd night in Macedonia over pardons

  • People walk by furniture, taken out of the demolished President’s office and burnt during a protest in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    People walk by furniture, taken out of the demolished President’s office and burnt during a protest in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Riot police officers pass in front of the Justice Ministry with broken windows on the ground floor, in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    Riot police officers pass in front of the Justice Ministry with broken windows on the ground floor, in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

  • A police officer enters the President’s office demolished by protestors in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

    A police officer enters the President’s office demolished by protestors in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, late Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Opposition supporters gathered in the capital Skopje for a second day to demand the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov after he issued pardons for 56 people from both the ruling parties and the opposition. Police said at least 12 people were arrested and a reporter was injured when the protests turned violent. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands have joined anti-government protests for a third consecutive night in Macedonia's capital, Skopje, and authorities say five police officers were hit by rocks and injured and one demonstrator was detained.

The protesters late Thursday marched past Parliament, government and party buildings, demanding the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov. The president issued pardons this week for top members of the previous government, including former prime minister Nikola Gruevski.

The action came ahead of early elections on June 5, called after months of political crisis triggered by wiretapping and corruption scandals.

European Union officials and the U.S. State Department have sharply criticized Ivanov's decision on the pardons and urged him to reconsider.