Police say 77 injured in Macedonia clashes

Chaos swept into Macedonia's parliament Thursday as demonstrat.

Macedonia, a small Balkan country, was hit by a major political crisis and violence after dozens of far-right protesters, mostly supporters of the country's dominant conservative party, invaded parliament and assaulted opposition lawmakers.

Tents are left by protestors, in front of the parliament building in Skopje, Macedonia, Friday, April 28, 2017, a day after clashes with the police.

Macedonia's president has called for calm in a televised address made after violent protesters stormed into parliament.

The Republic of Macedonia's political crisis deepened as the USA and the European Union condemned the overnight storming of parliament by protesters and opposition leaders rejected the president's call for an emergency meeting. Their supporters rushed into parliament and beat up Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev, 42, as well as other lawmakers.

Macedonia has been locked in a political crisis since January 2015, when Zaev accused the coalition government led by VMRO-DPMNE of corruption, illegal wiretapping of more than 20,000 people and covering-up a murder.

Police said 77 people were hurt, including Zaev and the leader of an Albanian party, along with 22 police officers, The Associated Press reports.

"All parties should respect democratic process and engage in dialogue, not violence", he urged on Twitter.

Because of the situation in Macedonia, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic scheduled an emergency session of the Coordination Bureau for Security Services for Friday in Belgrade. The deputy head of Macedonia's Social Democrats required stitches after being dragged by the hair on the evening of April 27th, when a mob supporting VMRO, the nationalist former ruling party, smashed into the country's parliament.

Scores of protesters in the capital broke through a police cordon and rushed into parliament on Thursday to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-long deadlock in talks to form a new government.

"Greed to seize power at any cost is the direct cause which led to this adverse situation, and they bear responsibility for it", Mr Gruevski said.

He offered his resignation, as he said out of moral reasons, for not succeeding in four months in office in eliminating political influence in the police.

Macedonian Minister of Interior Agim Nuhiu Friday accused the police of not responding timely to prevent the violence that occurred in and around the Parliament on Thursday night. Eventually, police used stun grenades to evacuate the building and free legislators and journalists trapped inside.

"We take positive note of the election of Talat Xhaferi as Speaker of the Parliament", EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini said in a joint statement.

A spokeswoman for the European Union could not immediately be reached for comment, but German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel also hinted at possible punishment, telling reporters in Malta: "We are sending clear signals ... but of course there a lot of other measures which we hope don't have to be launched".

Gruevski denies wrongdoing, and has blamed the wiretaps on unspecified foreign spies.

Gruevski's ally, President Gjorge Ivanov, has refused to give a mandate to Zaev, who says he can form a majority-backed government with the parties representing the ethnic-Albanians, who account for 25 percent of a population of 2 million, according to the CIA Factbook.

"Nikola Gruevski is accusing the Social Democrats of consciously breaching the country's law and constitution by electing a new parliament speaker '" an ethnic Albanian politician.

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