Skopje, 2 August 2020 (MIA) – North Macedonia observes Sunday its Republic Day – the 117th anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising and the 76th anniversary of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations will take place without mass gatherings and cultural programmes, under health protocols established by the Commission for Infectious Diseases and adopted by the Government.
“Victory for All” is the slogan of this year’s events in Krushevo, Pelince and Skopje.
President Stevo Pendarovski will address the observance at the ASNOM Memorial Center in Pelince, while Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski at the event held at the Skopje fortress Kale. The Krushevo celebrations are taking place under the Parliament’s auspices, headed by Vice Speaker Goran Misovski. The official programme also includes events in the village of Smilevo, marking the 117th Ilinden Uprising anniversary and 78 years from the first battle of the Bitola-Prespa partisan unit “Dame Gruev”.
This year’s celebrations will have no traditional open-air mass gatherings, choir singing, folk dances, brass orchestras, the flower-laying ceremonies will take place under strict health protocols. All participants are obliged to wear face masks, disinfectants will be available at the sites, food and beverages will not be served.
The start of the Ilinden Uprising was announced by church bells in Krushevo on the eve of St. Elijah Day in 1903. Around 800 insurgents liberated the town. Two days later, Nikola Karev declared himself the president of the Krushevo Republic. The republic was free for ten days before being quelled by Ottoman troops.
Pitu Guli, one of the most prominent fighters, was killed during shootouts with the Ottoman army. It ultimately marked the end of the Krushevo Republic.
Forty-one years after the Ilinden Uprising, 115 delegates held the first session of the Antifascist Assembly of the Macedonia’s National Liberation (ASNOM), whereat the social and legal status of Macedonia was determined as a constituent country as part of the future Yugoslav federation. Members of the ASNOM presidency were elected with Metodija Andonov-Chento as its president.
The first ASNOM session saw the passage of several documents of constitutional importance, including resolution on the introduction of Macedonian language as the country’s official language and the Declaration of the Basic Rights of Men and Citizens of Democratic Macedonia.