- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) - The Latest on the political crisis in Macedonia (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has called emergency security consultations over political turmoil and unrest in its southern Balkan neighbor, Macedonia.

The meeting of Serbia’s bureau for coordination of security services will be held later on Friday. Belgrade leaders have warned that any instability in Macedonia reflects on the entire Balkans.

Demonstrators in Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, late on Thursday stormed the legislature and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-old deadlock in efforts to form a new government.

Vucic says incidents in Macedonia “present a problem for all of us who live here and it is better to stop all the problems and secure peace and stability for our children.”

Local media say Vucic has discussed the situation with some regional leaders.

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9:45 a.m.

Macedonia’s president has called an emergency meeting of political leaders, hours after demonstrators - mostly supporters of the country’s dominant conservative party - invaded parliament and assaulted opposition lawmakers.

Police said 77 people, including opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev, the head of a small ethnic Albanian opposition party and 22 police, were injured in the overnight riot.

It was unclear whether opposition party leaders would heed President Gjorge Ivanov’s call to attend the meeting to defuse the tension.

Late Thursday, demonstrators stormed the legislature and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-old deadlock in efforts to form a new government.

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9:10 a.m.

The European Union has condemned the violence that swept Macedonia’s parliament and said that the cornerstones of democracy should be respected.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Friday that “violence is unacceptable, even more so when it happens in the house of democracy.”

On Thursday, demonstrators stormed the legislature and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-old deadlock in efforts to form a new government.

Clashes over several hours injured 77 people, including 22 police officers and several lawmakers, authorities said.

Mogherini, attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Malta, called the incident a “serious crisis that can be dangerous.”


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