Time: 10:39 p.m. CEST
Skopje|Macedonia: At the entrance of the Constitutional Court in Skopje was empty and peaceful on Tuesday. Only the mark of eggs are on the building wall, as evidence of the protests of pressure and human rights groups in the previous weeks. Regardless the empty space, only on several meters of the court, heavy police presence stopped the possible encounter between two different groups of residents who tried to advocate for their opinions.
Police in riot uniforms deployed close to the Macedonian People’s Theater stopped the civil initiative “Ajde,” their supporters, members of the opposition parties and other concerned citizens to arrive at the Constitutional Court and mourn, metaphorically said, for the Constitution and for the state. Police stopped the peaceful walking close to the theater, not more than two-minutes walking toward the building of the Constitutional Court. Vladimir Milcin from “Ajde” civil platform requested of the gathered people not to confront with the members of the police and empowered others to stay at the theater until the morning.
On the other side of the square close to the historic Stone Bridge and behind the building of the Constitutional Court counter-protesters listened president of party Citizens option for Macedonia, Stevco Jakimovski who talked to his supporters and other gathered residents on the importance to protect the constitutional judges from the opinion of the members of the non-governmental institutions. Some of the peaceful protesters said are there to defend the Constitution. They also stopped already announced protest at the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court is in the focus of the political turbulence in Macedonia after the Court accepted the initiative for a review articles of the Law on Pardon and the right of the President of the Republic to grant pardons for certain crimes, now forbidden by the existing law. The Court hearing and decision for the case is on Wednesday, but the Court decided to close the session to the public and media. That provoked the Association of Journalist of Macedonia to react and request opening for the session to the media.
The hearing of the Court, as previously announced in the media, should start at 9:00 a.m. CEST on Wednesday. If the court decides to support the initiative, as previously majority of the nine judges voted in support of acceptance of the initiative, the President could grant pardons or clemency to those sentenced for crimes against elections and voting, crimes against sexual freedom and sexual moralities committed against child and minor. According to the biographies of the five judges, mentioned during the previous protests, all five are appointed after 2011.