Thousands protest president's pardon for fifth night

Thousands of people gathered for a fifth consecutive night in the center of the Macedonian capital of Skopje late Saturday to protest President Gjorge Ivanov's decision to grant pardons that halted criminal proceedings against dozens of politicians, including a former prime minister, accused in a wiretapping scandal.

Protesters, who chanted "No justice, no peace," demanded Ivanov's resignation, postponement of the June 5 election and the appointment of a government of technocrats.

The demonstration ended peacefully.

The general election was called two years ahead of schedule to put an end to a months-long political crisis triggered by wiretapping and corruption scandals.

Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who held the position until January, has rejected the presidential pardon and requested that Ivanov withdraw it.