Wednesday, 19 December 2018 | News today: 16

Mickoski leads protest rally against the Prespa treaty, political persecution, economic decline

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Thousands of supporters joined VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski on a protest march in downtown Skopje this evening, which ended in front of the Government building. VMRO protested against the name change as well as the overall failures of the SDSM led Government in the economy, tackling the huge air pollution and other issues, especially the systematic arrests and political persecution of VMRO supporters.

– Our brothers are being detained, their homes are invaded overnight, they are held in police stations for days on end. This ends now! We will defeat you and it begins at the coming presidential elections, Mickoski said. The elections are scheduled for next spring and VMRO-DPMNE wants early general elections to be held at this time as well.

– A new VMRO-DPMNE led Government will bring back the faith in the future of this country. Right now it’s only darkness we see around us. There is not a single area where people can say, good, this is going in the right direction, Mickoski said.

Protesters marched from the main VMRO-DPMNE office in Skopje, which was under virtual police siege last month, with police officers searching party officials and members entering and leaving the building. Mickoski called on all the citizens of Skopje who would like to join the protests but are afraid because of the non-stop pressures and intimidation that “we know you are with us in spirit”.

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– The Government tries to sow fear all around them. They can only stay on top so long as you are afraid of them and want to have an image that only a few thousand oppose them. But, they should know, we are hundreds of thousands”, Mickoski said, calling back the outcome of the September 30th referendum, when, despite ballot stuffing, only 36 percent of the citizens voted to rename the country, despite SDSM and numerous international politicians calling for higher turnout.

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– The public knows that the Government set out on an dangerous adventure to rename its own people and its own nation, to take away our identity and language. That was not enough for them, so they also say that we “have issues”, Mickoski said, after a statement made by Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who said that opponents of the Prespa treaty “have issues”. “Mr Dimitrov, we are a nation with honor and dignity, and believe me, a day will come when you will apologize to the Macedonian nation and the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia for what you said”, Mickoski added.

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The VMRO-DPMNE leader also addressed judges and prosecutors who are at the forefront of the campaign to charge and detain as many opposition officials as possible. The names of judge Dobrila Kacarska and prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska who lead many of these cases became synonymous with the mood of intimidation of political opponents in the country, especially over the cases filed against VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament, who were released from detention after they agreed to vote against the party line and in favor of renaming the country.

– I’ll tell you one thing. These two are not so brave. The day will come when they turn their backs on the Government and will tell us who gave the word and who used the cases for blackmail. And know that the people will not forgive or forget what you did, Mickoski said.