Zaev with contradictory stances on the amnesty for the “Bloody Thursday”

Zoran Zaev. Photo: screenshot.

table, while listing the categories of persons involved in the “Bloody Thursday”. Though Zaev offers political clarification on why his current stance is as it is, which may be perceived as logical, still his last statement is inconsistent and contradicts all of other ones from the months before.


Prime Minister Zoran Zaev recently made a statement regarding the amnesty for some of the involved in the events of 27 April 2017 that took place in front of and inside the Parliament of the RM, which we deem inconsistent:

Let me define my stance publicly… I see no reason why we shouldn’t reach clemency and reconciliation through those that haven’t been involved in the violence and weren’t a part of the internal organizers circle. Because state’s future is at stake… It could be resolved through an amnesty law on a decision by the Parliament, pursuant to Parliament’s competences…

[Source: Alsat M TV, 360 Degrees (34 min) – date: 16 November 2018]




In just a few months, April to November 2018, the president of the Government of the Republic of Macedona and SDSM’s leader Zoran Zaev made several statements on the legal outcome of the so called “Bloody Thursday” or the storming of the Parliament on 27 April 2017. Mildly put, all of them contradict the last statement of his, made in the interview for 360 Degrees TV Show a few days ago.

With the Truthmeter’s methodological approach, we have selected some of Prime Minister’s statements and we are starting with the one from Zaev’s speech delivered in the Parliament of the RM at the anniversary of the “Bloody Thursday”:

But the catharsis of that event, which affected all citizens of the RM, must come out through the judiciary. That’s actually the only way of finding out the whole truth and the background of that event. The inspirers, the organizers as well as the violators will have to face the political and legal consequences (27 April 2018, 5:30 min).

Let us remind that back on 7 July 2017, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev made the following statement in his appearance on the MRT:

During the two and a half year long political crisis, yes, there were open talks on amnesty for the government’s leadership. There was no agreement, naturally, answered Prime Minister Zoran Zaev when asked whether VMRO-DPMNE’s leader and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has asked for amnesty. At the end of the day, the firm belief that the legal state and the law must be applicable to everyone is guaranteed by this scar I will probably carry for the rest of my life. The law must be equal to everyone. I don’t care if it’s a matter of my closest associate or my closest family member, Zaev said. (7 July 2017)

In July this year, a month after the signing of the Prespa Agreement, when efforts were made at leader meetings to reach agreement on state’s future steps, whether the referendum would be supported by the biggest political parties and which are the further reform steps in the Parliament when it comes to amendments to the key laws, after one of those meetings, Zaev said:

Our country’s and all parliamentary parties’ strategic goal is the accession of the Republic of Macedonia in the EU and NATO. There are no compromises. Amnesty, whether direct or indirect – is not going to happen (19 July 2018).

Following the referendum on 30 September, this is how SDSM interpreted the results: “fairly great deal of the electorate voted FOR” while VMRO-DPMNE as “people’s vocal NO”, the Government decided to continue the legal procdure regarding the Prespa Agreement. Just a few days prior the vote in the Parliament on the initiative for the process of amending the Constitution of the RM, Zoran Zaev took the floor and addressed the need for reconciliation in the country to the members of parliament:

I’m sending a message of reconciliation and forgiveness for 27 April and the events that took place. Let’s sit down and do this. I’m ready and I’m calling all of you, the majority and the opposition. Yes, I know, all of that has a price, which I’m ready to pay, the price is political (15 October 2018).

For almost two weeks, the public had been struggling to find out whether the Prime Minister referred to amnesty. All of this was amplified by the fact that the majority got 8 votes of MPs of the parliamentary party group and the coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE. Among those are MPs indicted for the events of 27 April 2017.

With these, and with these votes, the majority managed to schedule a  session that would discuss the amendments to the Constitution of the RM.

During that time, late October this year, a law on amnesty was submitted to the Parliament by VMRO-DPMNE’s parliamentary party group. Following the meeting with the members of VMRO-DPMNE’s parliamentary party group who supported the constitutional amendments, when asked whether he finds the Law on Amnesty submitted by VMRO-DPMNE acceptable, Zaev said:

Absolutely not. Because here we are forming the national coordinative body. This coordinative body will help us find the reconciliation mechanisms (29 October 2018, 6:06 min)

After all of the statements and interpretations of Zaev’s last Friday in the interview for 360 Degrees Show, he said that he deems amnesty acceptable, while listing the categories of persons involved in the “Bloody Thursday”. Though Zaev offers political clarification on why his current stance is as it is, which may be perceived as logical, still his last statement is inconsistent and contradicts all of other ones from the months before.



Assessed by: Teo Blazhevski


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This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.

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