Macedonia

Macedonia in turmoil as President refuses government formation


Published

It looked as though the political turmoil in Macedonia was nearing an end with the formation of a new coalition. However, President Gjorge Ivanov has refused to allow Zoran Zaev of the Social Democrats to form a coalition government.

The problem appears to stem around the support of the Albanian Democratic Union of Integration (DUI) which was preparing to join the coalition but wanted a bill making Albanian the country’s second official language.

The president, in a long message to the people said “After the elections, we were unpleasantly surprised by a post-election political platform of a foreign country. The platform is a post-election document drafted and signed in a foreign country, in the office of a foreign statesman, mediated by the Prime Minister of that foreign country. The content of the platform goes beyond the Constitution and the Ohrid Framework Agreement.”

He went on to say “In accordance with Article 84 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, I will not give the mandate for constitution of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to anyone who negotiates platforms of other countries that blackmail the Macedonian people, endanger the integrity of the state, its sovereignty and independence.”

So it looks as though the Social Democrats and DUI will have to reconsider their position or force a further general election.

The full statement by the president, as published on the presidential website is as follows:

“Address by the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 16:08

Two days ago, on February 27, I was submitted evidence that a majority in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia is to be created. On that occasion, I congratulated the parties that managed to create the majority since it is an important step to get out of the crisis.

Today I invited the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev, at a consultative meeting regarding the decision on awarding the mandate to constitute the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

At the meeting I informed him on all legal opinions that I received yesterday from competent legal experts. According to them, in accordance with Article 90, majority has been achieved and it is the basis to award the mandate for constitution of the Government.

However, according to the legal experts, there is a problem with the deadlines.

Namely, to comply with Article 90 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, it is necessary the deadlines set forth in the Constitution to be met.

Meeting the deadlines is necessary for the transfer of power to be legal and legitimate. We have discussed several solutions how to overcome the problem with the deadlines and award the mandate and the decision not to violate Article 90 of the Constitution.

This issue can be overcome easily since there are solutions, especially now when a majority in the Assembly is secured. Otherwise, my decision to grant the mandate without observing the period of 10 days provided for in Article 90 may be challenged.

I recommended Mr. Zaev to make consultations and inform me about their position to the offered solutions.

I suggested sticking to the established practice since 1992, when, in the three attempts to form a government, the deadlines of 10 days set forth in the Constitution were respected. I was informed that the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia maintains that the deadlines given in the Constitution and the established practice since 1992 are not an obstacle to be granted the mandate and asked for immediate granting of the mandate.

Despite this formal-legal obstacle, there is a more fundamental problem. It concerns the following:

After the elections, we were unpleasantly surprised by a post-election political platform of a foreign country. The platform is a post-election document drafted and signed in a foreign country, in the office of a foreign statesman, mediated by the Prime Minister of that foreign country. The content of the platform goes beyond the Constitution and the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

This platform endangers the sovereignty and independence of the state, bringing it in a position of subordination or dependence in relation to another country. With this platform, the Republic of Macedonia is blackmailed and its integrity, sovereignty and independence are threatened.

The process of post-electoral coalition and formation of a new government has become hostage to this post-election platform of a foreign country. Instead of finally getting out of the political crisis, this platform, unfortunately, pushes us in an even deeper crisis that questions the fundamental national interests of the Republic of Macedonia and its citizens.

I expected a long while certain political parties to show statehood and maturity and publicly refuse to even speak about such foreign post-election platforms.

Unfortunately, we saw that instead of immediately and without discussion to dismiss it, some started to bid with it, being unaware that they actually bid with the unitary character of the state, the identity of the citizens and the state interests. No one can negotiate the nature and the future of the country nor can lead non-transparent discussions. The citizens are entitled to know the truth of the content of the talks.

However, there is a solution for this issue, too. During the meeting, I asked Mr. Zaev to publicly and clearly reject and condemn this platform, because the Macedonian citizens casted their votes at the election for reform and fulfilment of the obligations of the Przino Agreement and not for post-election platform of a foreign state.

Hence, the second fundamental objection is that the talks about the content or negotiating a platform of a foreign country is contrary to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Moreover, negotiation and acceptance of a foreign platform is an offense under the Criminal Code because it means bringing the Republic of Macedonia in a position of subordination or dependence in relation to another country.

Dear fellow citizens,

We expect the international community to clearly and publicly condemn such a platform which is unscrupulous interference in internal affairs and redefinition of the unitary character of our country.

We remember well that the international community expressed such views when other countries in the region were concerned. Unfortunately, there was no such public condemnation in the case of Macedonia. This loud silence confirms that Macedonia’s future depends on us only, its citizens and its institutions.

My message is clear. Once it refrained from judging the platform that endangers the sovereignty and integrity of the Republic of Macedonia, the international community should also refrain from imposing solutions contrary to the national interests of the Republic of Macedonia.

Dear fellow citizens,

Negotiating a platform of a foreign country means denying the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Macedonia as stated in Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Republic of Macedonia’s sovereignty derives from the citizens and it belongs to the citizens. None of the citizens has given the right to any democratically elected representative, negotiating a post-election platform of a foreign state, to threaten the sovereignty of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Macedonian citizens voted at the elections for party programs and not for a post-election platform of a foreign state.

These are serious times in the history of the Republic of Macedonia. Every one of us has to behave most responsibly, because every wrong decision can have incalculable and catastrophic consequences for the future of the country.

When I took the office of President of the Republic of Macedonia, under the Constitution, at the session in the Assembly, I gave a solemn oath and obliged myself to act conscientiously and responsibly, to respect the Constitution and the laws and to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Macedonia.

According to the oath I have given, neither the Constitution nor my conscience allows me to give the mandate to anyone who disturbs the sovereignty and in dependence of the Republic of Macedonia.

Dear fellow citizens,

I hear some accuse me that with my past actions I have abused my official position and that I could be criminally charged thereof. I encourage the initiators to do so. I urge those who threaten me these days to challenge my responsibility under the Constitution. And, on this occasion, I clearly announce that there are no threats and blackmail that would force me to violate the Constitution.

But, at the same time, I encourage them to file criminal charges under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia against anyone who puts the Republic of Macedonia in a position of subordination and dependence in relation to another country.

In accordance with Article 84 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, I will not give the mandate for constitution of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia to anyone who negotiates platforms of other countries that blackmail the Macedonian people, endanger the integrity of the state, its sovereignty and independence

Foreign post-election platforms cannot and must not be the basis for the formation of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.

Dear fellow citizens,

We have no other country. The Republic of Macedonia is the only country we have. We have no historic right to destroy what generations fought and died for. They left us this country to leave it to the still unborn, our children and descendants.

Therefore, I want to assure you, the citizens, that you can be at peace.

As long as I am President of the Republic of Macedonia, I will not give the mandate to any person or a party that advocates with its program or platform destruction of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Macedonia. For I am deeply convinced that these are fundamental values nobody has the right to trade with. And I do not think to make any concessions.

Thank you.”

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