Republic of Macedonia President Fully Revokes Wiretap Pardonby
EU urges political parties to resume talks, resolve crisis
President revokes pardons for all involved in wiretapping
The Republic of Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov canceled a blanket pardon issued two months ago for all officials suspected of involvement in a wiretapping scandal that sparked violent protests and drew European Union and U.S. condemnation.
Ivanov revoked the pardon for all remaining suspects after he annulled it for 22 out of 56 political and administrative officials on May 27, he said in a statement on his website late Monday. His decision comes a week before the start of an impeachment procedure against him in parliament planned for June 13.
Rescinding all pardons “allows justice to again run its course,” EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a statement. “Rapid and credible action” must be taken “to move the country back to the path of the rule of law and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Hahn said, urging political leaders to resume negotiations to end a 15-month long political crisis.
The standoff between the opposition and former Premier Nikola Gruevski, who has denied accusations of abusing power in a scandal tied to the wiretapping of 20,000 people including politicians, police, and judges, has spiraled into the country’s worst political crisis in a decade. Gruevski resigned January 15, paving the way to a snap vote.
The former Yugoslav republic that seeks to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization indefinitely postponed the early elections scheduled for June 5, heeding criticism from the EU that an opposition boycott meant the ballot wouldn’t be credible.