SKOPJE, Macedonia – A fourth night of protests is planned in the Macedonian capital after President Gjorge Ivanov granted pardons halting criminal proceedings against a former prime minister and dozens of other politicians in a wiretapping scandal.
Thousands of people have been demonstrating in the past few days, demanding Ivanov's resignation. Five police officers and two others have been injured in clashes with police. Thirteen people were arrested.
The demonstrations come ahead of June 5 early general elections, called to resolve a months-long political crisis triggered by wiretapping and corruption scandals. Parliament speaker Trajko Veljanoski on Friday formally signed the decision setting the election date.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, chairman in office of the OSCE, has expressed concern, saying the presidential pardon "damages the rule of law and legal peace."