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VMRO-DPMNE condemns SDSM member of Parliament Lidija Dimova after protest incident

Members of Parliament from the VMRO-DPMNE group condemned the tensions on Monday evening, when protesters from the opposition SDSM party shouted and insulted police officers.

A police patrol briefly stopped a van carrying paintballs and other supplies that SDSM protesters have been using to target public institutions in the past months. As police was identifying the van’s driver, SDSM member of Parliament Lidija Dimova, a group of protesters approached threatening the officers, who withdrew to avoid a greater incident. Dimova said that she called on her immunity as member of Parliament to the officers and was jubilant, saying that her protesters made the policemen “run away”.

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“Lidija Dimova abused its office as member of Parliament and the immunity she enjoys, and she did that at a moment when SDSM members of Parliament are avoid coming to work, yet continue to collect their salaries. This shameful behavior on the part of SDSM’s members of Parliament needs to stop. SDSM needs to understand that they are not in an untouchable class of their own”, said Dimitar Stevanadzija, member of Parliament for VMRO-DPMNE at a press conference on Tuesday. Stevanadzija added that Parliamentary immunity does not protect its holder from responsibility, whether in cases of traffic violation or from violations of the public order. A number of participants in the protests have already been fined or were given house detention in the more serious instances when they used violence or caused significant damage to public institutions.

The protests, jointly organized by SDSM and a coalition of left leaning NGO groups, were held daily for more than two months, with varying turnout. With the start of the summer holidays, and the lower turnout they brought, protests were stopped a week ago, but they continue on a irregular basis.