Balkan Developments

Protests in Turkey after decision of Supreme Electoral Council to cancel mayoral elections in Istanbul

Photo: sendika.orgTurkey’s Supreme Electoral Council accepted the objection of the ruling Justice and Development Party of President Recep Erdogan to cancel the results of the mayoral elections in Istanbul of March 31. The former and candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party Premier Binali Yildirim suffered a defeat at the local elections in Turkey’s biggest city. The candidate of the opposition People’s Republican Party Ekrem Imamoglu won the elections by a slim margin. Hundreds of protesters flooded the streets of Istanbul to show their discontent with the decision of the Supreme Electoral Council. “Mobilization and Fight for Democracy”- this is how Ekrem Imamoglu called the forthcoming rerun of the mayoral elections in Istanbul on June 23. 

Stevo Pendarovski takes office as President of North Macedonia

Photo: BGNESStevo Pendarovski took office as North Macedonia’s new President. He is the first President elected after this country changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Stevo Pendarovski takes the position from Gjorge Ivanov who served as President of this country for two consecutive five-year terms. Pendarovski, supported by a broad coalition with the participation of the ruling Social Democratic Union won the run-off against the candidate of the oppositional VMRO-DPMNE Gordana Siljanovska. North Macedonia’s accession to NATO and the EU is a top priority of the new President. Pendarovski was until recently this country’s coordinator for NATO accession.

Far-right Golden Dawn party banned from participating in local elections in Thessaloniki

Photo: thenation.comThe court in Greece’s second-biggest city Thessaloniki banned the far-right party Golden Dawn from participating at the local elections due to omissions found in electoral lists and the overall candidature of the party in Thessaloniki. The headquarters of Golden Dawn called this a “political decision” and pointed out that it was due to the increasing influence of this political party in Northern Greece after the name agreement with North Macedonia. The sociological agencies forecast that Golden Dawn will be the third political party at the European elections. In the social networks the supporters of the far-right party call on the people to vote for a candidate who will say in public “Macedonia is Greece”. Political observers are concerned that the decision of the Greek court will encourage the supporters of Golden Dawn to vote at the European elections and this political party may receive unexpectedly high results in Northern Greece.

Serbia completes Transport Corridor 10

danas.rsSerbia’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlović announced that construction of Corridor 10 is completed. Thus, a 600 kilometer motorway connects the Serbia-Hungary border with the Serbia-North Macedonia border. Tourists who cross Serbia on their way to Greece in the summer season will travel only on motorway, Minister Mihajlović said and described the new motorway as a true construction masterpiece. Zorana Mihajlović added that two more motorways will be completed and launched by the end of the summer. One of them will connect the city of Niš with the Bulgaria-Serbia border.

Kidnapping of viticulturist by group of migrants renews migration debate in Slovenia

The abducted Mirko Moravec, showing the police how he was locked in the trunk of his car.  /  Photo: primorske.siThe kidnapping of a Slovenian viticulturist by a group of migrants willing to reach Italy renewed the migration debate in Slovenia on the eve of the European elections. The Slovenian Police confirmed that a vine-grower who worked in his vineyard in a region near the Croatian-Slovenian border was abducted by four migrants who tied him with a rope and locked him up in the trunk of his car. Then, the migrants left with his car to Italy. The vehicle and its owner were found near the Italy-Slovenia border. The Italian Police arrested suspects from Morocco and Algeria aged between 18 and 25 and handed them over to the Slovenian authorities.

Written by: Miglena Ivanova

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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