Macedonia: Protest against electoral controversy at Skopje's student union

Professors and local citizens joined a student protest in front of the Student Parliament at the University Ss. Kiril and Metodij (SPUKIM), in Skopje, on Friday.
A large number of police officers were deployed to secure the entrance of the building.
The tensions arose after the Student Parliament decided to proceed with the election of a new student president during the summer, without notifying the university departments.
On Thursday, Student Plenum members released footage of groups of people forcibly removing the voting ballots across the university campus and taking them into the SPUKIM. The Student Plenum later the same day published photographs on social media of individuals from the groups, effectively identifying them as ruling VMRO DPMNE party activists. The publishing of the photographs caused outrage among students which led to the blockade of SPUKIM.
Macedonia has been amidst more than a year-long political turmoil with numerous waves of protests taking place across the country following leaks of taped conversations of high-ranking government officials and ministers, including the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The leaks reportedly reveal electoral fraud, assassination cover ups and heavy interference in media policies and editorials.
The Student Plenum has played a crucial role in the waves of protests since its formation in 2015. Initial Student Plenum protests and university ‘occupations’ and sit ins in 2015 over proposed education reforms are considered the initial event of the year-long anti-government protests across the country.

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