The right-wing opposition VMRO-DPMNE party has announced it plans to stage a protest march in Skopje beginning at 17:00 (local time) on Wednesday, November 28. The demonstration will proceed from its headquarters to the parliament building. Transportation delays and clashes between security forces and protesters in the vicinity of the march are possible.
The protest march follows parliament's November 26 decision denying amnesty to VMRO-DPMNE supporters who injured over 100 people during April 2017 clashes in the parliament building. The date of the protest march falls on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of over 30 VMRO-DPMNE party members and supporters for their role in the aforementioned incident.
Additionally, the protests are planned amid greater political turmoil in Macedonia. In the past month, VMRO-DPMNE members and supporters have rallied in the streets of Skopje on November 18 in response to Macedonia's planned name change and subsequent constitutional amendments. Party members also staged demonstrations on November 7 in support of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and former VMRO-DPMNE leader who was to report to jail a day later.
Former Prime Minister Gruevski was sentenced to two years in jail for corruption on October 5 in a confirmation of a lower court's May 23 decision. Gruevski subsequently fled to Hungary, where he has reportedly been granted asylum after claiming that his conviction was politically-motivated. Macedonia filed a request for extradition on November 19, although it appears unlikely that Gruevski will return to Macedonia to face jail time.
Individuals in Skopje are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid protests and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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