Macedonian minister accuses police of not responding timely to prevent violence

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-28 20:51:52|Editor: xuxin
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SKOPJE, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Macedonian Minister of Interior Agim Nuhiu Friday accused the police of not responding timely to prevent the violence that occurred in and around the Parliament on Thursday night.

The ministe said at a press conference "It is obvious that the political influence plays a great role in the police structures. They act upon orders from political centers and it must be sanctioned."

Some of the high-ranking officials in the ministry will have to take responsibility for the poor performance and inability to prevent the clashes, in which over 100 people were injured, Nuhiu said.

The Macedonian Ministry of Interior confirmed that among the injured are over 70 citizens, 22 policemen and three MPs.

On Thursday afternoon, protesters stormed and took over the Parliament building after the MPs from the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the smaller Albanian parties elected Tallat Xhaferi from the Democratic Union for Integration as the new parliament speaker.

Nuhiu claimed the Director of the Bureau for Public Security Mitko Chavkov who was in charge of the crisis headquarters did not answer his phone during the crisis.

"The Ministry of Interior is an institution that must guarantee the public law and order and it can't allow to be under the influence of the political subjects that attempt to misuse the police for its own goals," he said.

"But most of the employed in the Ministry of Interior are professionals and I would like to thank them for their engagement last night", added Nuhiu.

Early Friday morning, the ministry announced in a written statement "The security situation in the central area of Skopje, in and around the Parliament building is normalized. There are no more protesters in the building itself."

"Due to the overall security risks, the Ministry of Interior will take additional measures and activities to protect the security of the citizens and objects."

The Parliament building Friday is highly guarded by police forces and on spot investigation is performed. According to the police and the Public Prosecutor's Office, all that performed criminal acts during the protest will face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the scheduled meeting of the leaders of the parliamentary political parties, organized by the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov as an attempt to find a way out of the severe crisis, remains unlikely for now.

Although the leader of VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski called other leaders to accept the invitation, SDSM openly rejected to take part in the meeting, while the smaller Albanian parties have still not voiced themselves.