2,000 ethnic Albanians in march calling on Macedonia's conservative government to resign

About 2,000 ethnic Albanians have marched peacefully in the Macedonian capital, protesting against government policies toward the country's largest ethnic minority.

About 40 ethnic Albanian civic organizations and associations called for collective protests Saturday demanding the resignation of the conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party and its junior partner, the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integrations.

The organizers also demand a new investigation of several court cases involving ethnic Albanians sentenced in allegedly politically motivated trials.

Skender Rexhepi, senior official of one of the organizers, told local TV that Macedonia needs "a new agreement of all citizens" that will "open a...redefinition of the state where Albanians are a constituent element, equal with Macedonians."

Ethnic Albanians comprise a quarter of Macedonia's population of 2 million.