As Macedonia’s state election commssion, DIK, convened on Thursday evening in Skopje to decide opposition complaints about the general election, thousands of supporters of the ruling VMRO DPMNE party arrived by bus from smaller towns on a mission to “protect” its election victory. VMRO DPMPE politicians and prominent supporters heated up the crowd, accusing the main opposition party of plotting “treason” to Macedonia. “We won’t allow the country to be run by people who are prepared to commit the greatest treason against Macedonia,” VMRO DPMNE MP Ilija Dimovski told the protesters. “The DIK members should know that they carry the greatest responsibility and will decide whether this country will be normal and prosperous,” he added. “They should know that these people have no more strength to tolerate things. We respect democracy and the voice of the people. There is no turning back,” Dimovski continued.
Under such pressure, the DIK unsurprisingly failed on Thursday night to finish its deliberations on all the complaints. Its work was set to resume on Friday.
The protest outside the DIK was attended not only by politicians but also by officials who run key institutions in the country and are close supporters of the ruling party.
The head of the State Commission for Relations with Religious Communities, Valentina Bozinovska – perhaps bizarrely – compared the rally to Nazi purges of the “The Night of Long Knives” in 1934, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions in Germany to consolidate Adolf Hitler’s absolute power.