Macedonia's main opposition party announced on Friday it would boycott parliament in protest against a local court decision freezing accounts of four influential private media outlets amid an investigation into their owner.
Police arrested media tycoon Velija Ramkovski and 16 executives from his television channel and three newspapers in December over alleged tax evasion amounting to 4.5 million euros ($6.17 million).
"From today, the Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) will no longer participate in parliament," the party said in a statement. "We have no intention of giving legitimacy to this undemocratic authority."
Other opposition parties also hinted they might join the boycott.
The opposition parties have criticised the conservative government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, which has a two-thirds majority in parliament, for undemocratic practices and bad economic policies.
Ramkovski's A1 television broadcast news on Friday from in front of the government building in a symbolic gesture against the authorities' decision.
A1 and the newspapers say the government is exerting political pressure on critical independent media in an effort to shut them down.
ReutersLast Mod: 29 Ocak 2011, 11:05