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If they come to an agreement, the Constitution will not prevent the parties to postpone the local elections


       
Skopje, 11 January, 2017 - 19:31 (META) 

According to the changes in the Electoral code from January 2014, the local elections in Macedonia, instead of the second half of March, will be held in the first half of May, but even this date may be a subject to change since the issues about the local elections are not clearly determined with the Constitution but by a law, that is brought by the Parliament.

“The elections for members of a council and a mayor are held each four years in all municipalities in the first half of May” as is stated in article 16, paragraph 1 of the Election Code.

Because of the dire results of the elections held on 11th of December last year, which will not allow for forming a stable parliamentary majority and are bringing into question the members of the future government, it is more likely that this year there will be new early parliamentary elections.

In that case, the following three scenarios are possible:
• The parliamentary elections will be held together with the local, which according to article 16, paragraph 1 of the Election Code, should be held in May;
• Organizing early parliamentary elections in early spring or after the local elections, this summer or in autumn;
• Organizing both the local and the early parliamentary elections together, on a date that will be agreed upon by the parties, and that doesn’ have to be during the first half of May.
For implementing any of these scenarios, the elections will have to be called by the president of the Parliament, who even after two weeks after the constituting the new MPs still hasn’t been elected.If the parties agree upon the last scenario, the Constitution will not prevent them from making the necessary changes in the Election Code and to postpone the local elections.
The possibility of these changes to be made and to be in force only for this case and to refer only to these elections is not ruled out.

This type of precedent was made before the local elections in 2013 when a few weeks before the elections changes to the Election Code were made for prolonging the deadlines for registration of candidates.

Apparently, after the violent throwing out of members of opposition and the media from the Parliament during the debate about the budget on the 24h of December 2012, SDSM began to boycott the Parliament, and on the 2nd of January 2013 the party announced that it will boycott the local elections if several requests aren’t met.

The elections that were summoned on the 11th of January, SDSM’s boycott of the local elections was ended on the 1st of March hen the European Union mediated for concluding an agreement between the leaders of VMRO_DPMNE and SDSM. Nikola Gruevski and Branko Crvenkovski, and the next day the Parliament at an urgent session prolonged the deadline for registration of candidates for participating in the elections until the 8th of March in order to allow opposition candidates to register.

The university professor Jove Kekenovski said for “Meta” that there is no need for postponing the local elections and that along with them in May also the new early parliamentary elections should be held as the current situation is suggesting.

“In a situation such as this one, it is logical that the local elections and the new early elections for MPs to be held together at the expense of one election process. The local elections should not be postponed. There shouldn’t be any problems in the implementation of both elections except the printing of the ballots might be more complicated. If the local and the early parliamentary elections are organized together, that will also contribute to a greater voter turnout and the final outcome will increase the winner’s legitimacy,” said Kekenovski