Talks sought after Macedonia parliament riot

Talat Xhaferi center a senior official of the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integrations stands after being elected as a new speaker in the parliament building in Skopje Macedonia Thursday

Talat Xhaferi center a senior official of the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integrations stands after being elected as a new speaker in the parliament building in Skopje Macedonia Thursday

Zaev's last push was to nominate ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi of the Democratic Union for Integration Party as parliament speaker.

But Gruevski, who was accused by critics of becoming increasingly autocratic during a decade in power, failed to revive a coalition deal with the largest ethnic Albanian party, which threw its support behind Zaev instead.

Dozens of demonstrators fought their way through a police cordon and stormed the Macedonian parliament to protest the election of an ethnic Albanian president of the parliament on Thursday as political tension in the country swells.

Gruevski and his nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party ruled Macedonia for a decade until December past year when the election saw VMRO-DPMNE secure 51 seats in the 120-seat parliament - two more than the SDSM - but the conservatives failed to reach a deal with kingmaking Albanian parties.

The European Union and United States have condemned an attack by right-wing protesters on Macedonia's parliament that injured more than 100 people, while Russian Federation accused the West of meddling in the unstable Balkan state's affairs.

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.

The move was opposed by former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, alleging that national sovereignty would be undermined.

Hungary's foreign minister says that foreign intrusion is to blame for the political crisis in Macedonia.

Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of the population of Macedonia. They also called for a leadership meeting between Social Democrats leader Zaev, Gruevski, and Albanian parties, under the auspices of president Gjorge Ivanov.

"We will work with him to support democracy and to advance the interests of Macedonia", the U.S. Embassy in Skopje said on its website.

The State Department said in a statement that "violence has no place in the democratic process", and urged all parties to remain calm and respect the law.

Political stalemate is also growing tense in neighboring Albania, where the centrist opposition is threatening to block a local election on 7 May and national elections in June unless the left of center government resigns, the AP reports.

The head of Macedonia's dominant conservative party has condemned overnight violence against opposition lawmakers in parliament, but says opposition leaders provoked the attack.

Thursday's violence marked a dramatic escalation in a political crisis that has been simmering since an December's inconclusive parliamentary election, which was meant to relieve tension after leaked wiretaps appeared to reveal widespread illegal surveillance and corruption orchestrated by the long-ruling VMRO.

The Serbian government called an emergency session saying the episode in the Skopje parliament raised questions of security right across the Balkans.

The fact that "the current governing party is blocking this and its supporters stormed parliament and beat up lawmakers is unacceptable", Germany's top diplomat said.

More than 80 people were injured, including 25 police officers and three MPs.

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