The atmosphere of lethargy and despair of the protests organized by the former ruling VMRO-DPMNE, in fact, reflects the situation in the party after its departure into opposition.
The modest quorum that has been gathering for almost a week in front of the Ministry of Justice, is living proof that VMRO-DPMNE had much easier time organizing counter-protests, at any time and against all its opponents - while controlling all possible institutions. Therefore, it is now more than obvious that it lacks energy on the barricades. And it should be the other way around!
The right to protest is one of the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Constitution of the country. From that aspect, it is indisputable that members and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE can freely express their revolt on the streets of Skopje, especially now that they are the opposition. Nevertheless, the impression that something does not tune in the first protests that VMRO-DPMNE goes out after losing its strongest holds in the local elections, is inevitable.
The topic of the protests is, of course, one of the reasons for the low turnout of VMRO-DPMNE supporters. The photos of the bloody evening in the parliament on April 27 this year, circled the continent, and beyond. And although more than seven months have passed since, the insidiousness of those cadres has remained embedded in the collective memory. It is therefore impossible to make any comparison between that act that is now qualified as a terrorist threat to the constitutional order and the security and procedures of the investigating authorities that VMRO-DPMNE calls them "political prosecution".
It’s one thing to look for a fair process and a presumption of innocence for the suspects of the "bloody Thursday" in the Assembly - and this is quite legitimate. But it’s a totally different thing to seek amnesty for those who instigated the attempted state coup, the attempted murder of Zijadin Sela, the bloodshed of Zoran Zaev, and the dragging of Radmila Sekerinska...
Many supporters of VMRO-DPMNE, perhaps, realized the illogical nature of the reasons invoked by the party leadership in organizing the protests. The illogicality, on the other hand, of the most loyal protesters of VMRO-DPMNE is a different story.
Protesting against "SDSM’s regime”, or against the deprivation of the immunity of MPs in front of an institution headed by DUI, and whose minister is hardly known to anyone, is similar to protesting in front of a pastry shop because of increased weight in children due to improper diet.
Regardless of the fact that the institution is called the Ministry of Justice and under its cap is the judicial authorities in the state, it is strange that the VMRO-DPMNE decided to protest at this place, while, for example, its outbursts of revolt in parliament are reduced only to absence from the sessions debating the immunity of the six suspected MPs. And of course, the permanent delay and rescheduling of the amendments to the 2018 budget debate in the Parliamentary house.
The constructiveness of VMRO-DPMNE in the Parliament, where the party is most powerful at the moment, is simply inversely proportional to its attempts to radicalize the streets, where, apparently, it does not go well.
The poor attendance at VMRO-DPMNE's rallies is a sign that the party leadership is no longer capable of gathering people in protest. Especially when those protests refer to sanctions for certain harmful policies that the same leadership conducted while on the throne of power.
From this aspect, the assumption is that the membership of VMRO-DPMNE has yet to have many reasons for the protests, given the processes that are being conducted for a large number of members of the current leadership and the procedures that are expected to be opened in the upcoming period. The only question is who would lead the future protests, given the announced resignation by Gruevski. If his successor wants to continue with the barricades and be a new exponent of the old policies of VMRO-DPMNE, or will accept responsibility for the mistakes and improve the party.