Macedonia engulfed by debates over new amnesty bill

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-24 20:20:46|Editor: Zhou Xin
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SKOPJE, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The SDSM-led government of Macedonia has proposed a new amnesty bill but such proposal has sparked harsh debates and reactions, mainly by the opposition party.

Under this bill proposed in Macedonian parliament last week, there are about 104 persons who will be automatically set free from prison as they have been sentenced up to six months in prison.

And, there are about 1,200 prisoners convicted for theft and 752 prisoners sentenced up to five years in prison who will get a 30 percent cut in their prison time.

Therefore, the Macedonian opposition led by the former ruling VMRO-DPMNE has accused the government of using such law for electoral purpose as the country is about to have local elections on Oct. 15.

VMRO-DPMNE said in a press release Sunday that the amnesty would bring infamous criminals out of jail, considering such move as a threat for the law and order in the country.

However, Macedonian Justice Minister Bilen Saliji explained in a press conference that the new amnesty law didn't intend to be used for electoral purposes or any political gain.

According to him, the approval of such law is a necessity, while he noted it was likely to be adopted in Parliament after elections as more time is required for the bill to be debated.