Macedonia crisis: Bulgarian President Radev ‘deeply concerned’ by clashes in parliament
Bulgarian head of state President Roumen Radev said on April 28 that he was deeply concerned by the tensions in the Republic of Macedonia and the clashes the previous night in that country’s parliament, which left dozens injured, including MPs and police.
“I call on all parties in the Republic of Macedonia to respect the democratic process and to engage in dialogue. Democracy and the democratic process are the way to resolve the crisis,” Radev said.
He said that he believed that Macedonia would not deviate from European values.
Radev called on Bulgarian citizens to remain calm.
He noted that on the night of April 27, under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Stefan Yanev, an emergency meeting was held with the Minister of Interior and the relevant services, which analyzed the situation and found that there were no immediate risks to Bulgaria.
On April 28, Bulgaria’s caretaker Foreign Minister Radi Naidenov said that Bulgaria was concerned by the exacerbation of the domestic political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia “and we do not accept violence in any form as a way to solve the problems”.
Bulgaria hoped that the situation would be brought under control to restore the rule of law and normalise the work of parliament.
“We call on all parties, civic associations and institutions to respond in accordance with the democratic norms of the consensual goal of society in the Republic of Macedonia for European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” he said.
Protesters stormed into Macedonia’s parliament on Thursday after an ethnic Albanian was elected as speaker, the BBC said.
A brawl broke out injuring at least 10 people, including the Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev, who was left with blood pouring down his face.
Following an earlier failure by conservative former long-term prime minister Nikola Gruevski to form a government after last December’s elections, Zaev has created a coalition with ethnic Albanian parties, but his attempts to form a government have been blocked by the president.
Macedonian nationalists have been protesting on the streets since Zaev tried to form the coalition.