The State Commission for Prevention of Discrimination (SCPD) came out with a reaction over the presence of Bulgarian Consul Dimitar Ivanov at the Ivan Mihajlov Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Bitola while SCPD were conducting a search and taking statements over a discrimination case. “We were surprised to find that Mr. Ivanov was present in the culture centre during our investigation, and we interpret this as an attempt for influence over SCPD and our work. SCPD is an independent body with members selected by the Parliament of North Macedonia, and influence of third parties over our work and independence are not acceptable,” they stated from SCPD. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reacted over this case, stating that the Consul of Bulgaria in North Macedonia has no authority whatsoever related to associations of citizens registered in the country. “The Consul has the authority to represent the Bulgarian citizens living in North Macedonia, but not associations of citizens registered in North Macedonia. We pledge for discrimination cases to be resolved within the institutions of the state, and we encourage all individuals that face discrimination to report it to SCPD. We hope this case is resolved properly and peacefully,” they stated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.