NMacedonia: Parliament strips former PM of lawmaker status

North Macedonia's parliament has formally stripped former conservative prime minister Nikola Gruevski of his lawmaker status, after he fled the country last year to avoid serving a two-year jail sentence in a corruption scandal.

Parliament speaker Talat Xhaferi said Tuesday that Gruevski's lawmaker status had to be formally terminated because of his absence from parliamentary sessions for six months.

Gruevski, 48, the former leader of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party and prime minister from 2006-2016, fled to Hungary last November and was granted political asylum on grounds of alleged threat for his life.

Macedonian authorities have issued an international warrant for Gruevski and have filed an extradition request to Hungarian authorities.