Nikola Gruevski has submitted an asylum request to the competent Hungarian authority, the former prime minister of Macedonia has made a declaration of his intention to submit a request for refugee status in Hungary, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed previous press reports in a statement on Wednesday.
“Given that he was prime minister of his country for ten years, for security reasons the Hungarian authorities have allowed Mr. Gruevski to have his asylum request submitted and heard at the headquarters of the Immigration and Asylum Office in Budapest,” the statement says, adding that the Immigration and Asylum Office will conduct the asylum assessment procedure in accordance with both Hungarian and international law.
The PM’s Office stresses that “Macedonia is a strategic partner and an important ally of Hungary. Good cooperation between the two countries is an important cornerstone for the development of the Balkans region and the security of Europe. The Macedonian government of the day is a partner of Hungary in interstate relations, and therefore we in no way wish to intervene in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, and we consider the assessment of the former Macedonian prime minister’s asylum request to be solely a legal issue”. In accordance with Hungarian law, the Hungarian authorities shall not provide further information relating to the details of the asylum procedure prior to completion of that procedure.
Speaking at a press conference, the ruling Fidesz’s party’s communications chief said that in line with Hungary’s “unbroken legal practice” all those that are “in fact persecuted” in their homeland will be granted asylum under a decision by relevant authorities. Balazs Hidveghi added that Gruevski is “at the moment being persecuted and threatened by a leftist government backed by George Soros”. Hidveghi went on to say that in “some other, Socialist-led EU countries, such as Malta, journalists are murdered” while in other countries “political rivals are just threatened and harassed”. Hidveghi said he had no information as to how Gruevski had come to Hungary or where he was staying.
The strongest opposition party, Jobbik demanded the immediate arrest and extradition of Gruevski. According to MP Adam Mirkoczki, Gruevski is a “criminal, not an asylum-seeker”. The left-liberal opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) called on the government to refuse Gruevski’s request, and the liberal opposition Parbeszed party also called on Prime Minister Viktor Orban to immediately launch a procedure to extradite Gruevski.