During the trial on the April 2017 incident in the Parliament, former Speaker Trajko Veljanoski presented his version of events on the day when protesters stormed the building as SDSM and DUI held an irregular vote to elect a new Speaker.
Veljanoski said that the incident was clearly provoked by SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, who publicly boasted that he can hold the vote at any place – in the Macedonian Academy, in the law faculty, in a hallway in the Parliament… Eventually, SDSM and DUI held the vote in the Parliament while thousands of protesters were outside, prompting them to enter the building.
Veljanoski said that an added reason for the incident were the actions of member of Parliament Zekiria Ibrahimi, who sang the Albanian national anthem from the pulpit, incensing the protesters. Veljanoski said that he had no authority to prevent Ibrahimi from taking the floor as he was deputy coordinator of a group in Parliament, and had no idea what he is going to do.
This is the second trial the Zaev regime has scheduled over the same incident. The first trial was used to pressure three members of Parliament from VMRO-DPMNE, who were charged and detained, to switch party allegiance and vote for the imposed name change in exchange for an amnesty. The second trial is aimed against former top VMRO-DPMNE officials like Veljanoski.