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Protesters storm the Macedonian Parliament as Albanian is elected Parliamentary President

Violence has broken out in Skopje as protesters stormed a Parliamentary session in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The country is currently without a formal government as electoral deadlock has resulted in a protracted conflict between the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE and the country’s President Gjorge Ivanov on one side versus Zoran Zaev’s Social Democrats and ethnic Albanian parties on the other.

Ivanov has refused to allow Zaev to form a government as the Social Democrats would have to rely on sectarian Albanian parties in order to remain in power.

This is widely understood as something which will rip open the fragile status quo in a country where Albanians are agitating for extended autonomy on top of that which they all ready achieved in the Ohrid Agreement of 2001.

Others are calling for the effective break-up of the small country and the creation of a so-called Greater Albania, where by the current Republic of Albania would absorb regions of the current Macedonian state.

READ MORE: Albanian PM threatens to annex part of Serbia if the EU doesn’t admit Albania

Protests have been a common occurrence in Skopje for months, but yesterday the protests came to Parliament as the legislative body attempted to elect Talat Xhaferi, an ethnic Albania as the President (sometimes referred to as Speaker) of Parliament.

Zoran Zaev appeared to be injured during the fracas.

Albanians throughout the Balkans have become increased radicalised in recent years and certain Albanians have been openly calling for the annexation of territory belonging to several states including Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and even Greece.

Yesterday’s protests were a clear demonstration of the fact that in spite of western support for Albanian radicals, the majority of Macedonians do not want their state torn apart by sectarian government.

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