New amendments to Constitution published in the “Official Gazette”

Skopje, 14 January, 2019 - 20:42 (META) 

Amendments from 33 to 36, together with Constitutional Law on their proclamation, which were voted in with 81 votes, were adopted at the 75th session of Parliament, on Friday, and were published in the 6th issue of the “Official Gazette” this year, i.e. on January 12, 2019.

With these amendments to the Constitution, after the Prespa Agreement comes into force, the name of the country will be the Republic of North Macedonia. The Prespa Agreement will be official after it is ratified in Greek Parliament.

Sluzben vesnik ustavni izmeni 12jan19 crop - Portalb Sluzben vesnik ustavni izmeni 12jan19 - Portalb

Constitutional amendments were passed with 81 votes

Skopje, 11 January, 2019 - 19:38 (META) 

With 81 votes in favor and no votes against or withheld, this evening, MPs have cast their votes at Parliament i.e. the amendments from 33 to 35, which are Macedonia’s obligation according to the Prespa Agreement that was signed on the 17th of June last year.

Previously, the Alliance of the Albanians and BESA’s MPs withdrew their amendments.

According to Constitutional law which was also passed, these amendments will come into force as soon as the Prespa Agreement comes into force completely i.e. as soon as it is ratified in Greek parliament. According to article 1 of this law, the amendments will not come into force and will be annulled if Greece doesn’t ratify the agreement.

As soon as the 33rd amendment comes into force, the citizenship will be Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia ” which neither determines nor defines the ethnic background of the citizens.” The adjective shall be “Republic North Macedonia” or “North Macedonia.”

With the 35th amendment, the Republic guarantees that it will follow the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of neighboring countries: the Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Greece, Republic of Kosovo and Republic of Serbia.

The use of cyanide and sulfuric acid has been banned for any future mining

Skopje, 10 January, 2019 - 16:41 (META) 

At today’s session, the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia has passed the amendments in the Law for mineral raw materials that will ban all future mines of metallic raw materials the use of cyanide and sulfuric acid as part of the technological processes of flotation or other processing of the ore.

This legal change that doesn’t apply for the current mines, was proposed by the 11MPs with different political orientations: DOM’s Liljana Popovska and Maja Morachanin, SDSM’s Meri Lazarova, Keti Smilevska, Dime Velkovski and Sasho Atanasov, LDP’s Goran Milevski including independent MPs such as Ivana Tufegdzikj, Irena Stefoska, Pavle Bogoevski and Ferid Muhikj. This act didn’t pass at the first reading at the Parliament at the session that took place on the 3rd of September last year because there wasn’t a quorum at the voting. Then, the DOM party expressed its discontent because instead of the expected support for this, by their own words a “noble law,” that will protect the environment and the citizens’ health, there was a quiet boycott on part of certain MPs.

After the law was passed, DOM reminded that it has the support of over 40 environmental NGOs.

“After the closing of the Kazandol mine, this is another joint success for the ecologists in the fight for a healthier life in a clean environment and the development of the green economy” stressed DOM.

The environmental organizations announced that they will comment about the passed amendments in a day or two.

Unofficially, they are expressing their concern that the changes will not refer to the future mine for copper and gold Ilovica.

Amendments to Criminal Code adopted by Parliamentary Commission

Skopje, 27 December, 2018 - 17:04 (META) 

The Parliamentary Committee regarding the Political system has adopted the amendments regarding the Criminal Code as proposed by a group of MPs from the ruling majority party, in particular in reference to Article 275-v on the length of the sentence.

Adopting the amendments to the Criminal Code, in Article 275- v, prison sentences for acts related to the misuse of public procurement’s has been reduced, and according to some interpretations of the new changes, defendants could even receive probation.

It is expected that the changes will apply in the cases of the accused Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska, as well as the son of the MP Vladanka Avrovic, Vasilije Avirovik.

Seven amendments for constitutional changes were lodged

Skopje, 18 December, 2018 - 15:21 (META) 

The Parliament has received seven amendments of the draft-amendments of the Constitution where two were lodged by the Alliance of the Albanians, one from Besa, one from SDSM’s MP, Muhamed Zekiri and three from the VMRO-DPMNE’s independent MP group and the coalition. Only the MP groups of the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, nor SDSM’s or DUI’s MP groups hadn’t lodged any amendments.

The Alliance of the Albanians lodged only one amendment with which it requests that in Article 2 Section 2 the words “Macedonian/citizen” to be replaced with the words “citizens” and in the explanation the Alliance has stated that it is requested in order to provide equality in the expressing the citizenship for the citizens of Republic of Macedonia.

Besa’s MPs, also have requested an intervention regarding the same Section in the constitutional law and they proposed that this Alinea should state the following: “Starting from the day when the amendment XXXIII enters into force, the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia will have citizenship of the Republic of North Macedonia”.

An amendment of the same Section of Article 2 of the constitutional law was lodged by SDSM’s Muhamed Zekiri in order to make the Section more precise by placing the following words at the end of the sentence: “that will not determine nor will suggest the citizens’ ethnic background”.

A similar amendment to this was lodged by VMRO-DPMNE’s independent MP group and its coalition partners. They suggest that Article 2 Section 2 to add the following words after the word Macedonia: that will not determine the citizens’ ethnic background.”

The Alliance of the Albanians’ Sela and Rashidi’s second amendment requests that the constitutional law for proclaiming the amendments to be inserted in Article 1-a and they propose to state the following:

‘Republic of Macedonia’s state border is its constant border with Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Greece, Republic of Serbia and Republic of Kosovo.”

The representatives of the independent MP group had lodged an amendment with which they request a change of Article 1 Section 2 of the constitutional law and they propose to state the following:

“The amendments starting from the XXXIII to the XXXVI of the Republic of Macedonia’s Constitution will not cause a legal action, will not enter into force and are invalid unless the conditions determined by Section 1 of this article are met”.

The session of the parliamentary Commission for Constitutional Affairs will start this afternoon, while the plenary session is expected to be scheduled on the 9th of January next year. This is the third and the last phase of the constitutional changes in accordance to the Prespa Agreement.

Government passes on final versions of amendments to Parliament

Skopje, 13 December, 2018 - 16:46 (META) 

At yesterday’s 108th session, the Government adopted the final texts of the amendments to the Constitution and immediately passed them on to Parliament.

Amendment 33 reads as follows: “In the Constitution, the words” Republic of Macedonia ” will be replaced by the words “Republic of North Macedonia “, and the word “Macedonia” shall be replaced with the words “North Macedonia”, except in Article 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.”

Amendment 34 introduces amendments to the Preamble – amendment 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, which reads as follows: “In the Preamble of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, the words “living in its borders” will be deleted, “the decisions of ASNOM” will be replaced with the words” legal decisions specified in the Proclamation from the First ASNOM Meeting of the Macedonian People for the ASNOM Meeting “, after the word “year”, the words “expressing the will to create an independent sovereign state and the Ohrid Framework Agreement” will be added, and the words “decided to” will also be deleted.

With the text of amendment 35, “The Republic respects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of neighboring countries”, is supplemented by Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

As a result of the public debate, there will be a change in the text of Amendment 36 which now reads as follows:
– The Republic protects, guarantees and promotes the traits, historical and cultural heritage of the Macedonian people;
– The Republic protects the rights and interests of its citizens living abroad;
– The Republic takes care of the Diaspora of the Macedonian people and other communities and promotes ties to the motherland;
– The Republic will not interfere with the sovereign rights of other states and their internal affairs.

Here you can read the final text of the draft amendments 33, 34, 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Opposition MPs who voted for constitutional changes deny Lavrov’s claims

Skopje, 7 December, 2018 - 20:32 (META) 

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with the Greek daily newspaper “Ekathiremini”, today announced that he blamed the United States an the EU for brutal systematic interference in the internal affairs of Macedonia.

In that context, he said that “On October 19, “Parliament passed a resolution on constitutional changes by blackmailing and bribing MPs from the opposition in which foreign diplomats were directly involved, including the US ambassador.”

Contrary to claims made by the Russian foreign minister regarding the pressures and bribes inflicted on MPs from the opposition, in which, the current ambassador of the United States directly participated, the eight MPs from VMRO-DPMNE backed the start of the constitutional changes, categorically pointing out that they made the decision of their own free will, in accordance to their convictions.

Nola Ismajloska-Starova:

By my own conviction, I voted “For”. This process must be jointly implemented, I want to be actively involved in it, to help find solutions, and therefore I have decided to open the Constitution. When making the decision, I was guided by a personal desire for the prosperity of Macedonia and I responsibly reject any allegations of threats made to me.

Zekir Ramzilovic:

Instead of waking up to a start of chaos, Macedonia woke up with the beginning of a crisis resolution. These are the real reasons for voting and our decision is a consequence of such efforts made without any pressure from anyone, but as our freely expressed will based on the political responsibility we had at this fateful moment for our country. Everything else is speculation and slander that will not pass unpunished.

Emilija Aleksandrova:

The decision was hard indeed, being aware of the seriousness of the situation both in the country and in politics, and what kind of waves it will cause especially within my own party. However, my colleagues and I firmly believe that we gave it a chance and it is the right path, it is normal to mention once again that only by accepting our conditions.

Ljuben Arnaudov:

I do not think anyone is a traitor. It is not true that we received threats or that we received money. Nothing was promised.

Government organizes five public discussions about the constitutional changes

Skopje, 5 December, 2018 - 11:38 (META) 

The government has announced that starting from today, it will begin organizing a series of public discussions both with experts and the general public about the draft-amendments about the changes in the Constitution.

The first public discussion will take place today with a start at 16h at the government’s hall. the attendees will be addressed by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Ph.D. Vlado Popovski and Ph.D. Ljubomir Frckovski.

The second public discussion will take place tomorrow starting at 12h, at the FON University in Skopje. The attendees will be addressed by Prime Minister the Rector of the FON University, Ph.D. Nano Ruzin and Ph.D. Temelko Ristevski.

The third public discussion will take place a day after tomorrow starting at 10 o’clock, at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The attendees will be addressed by Vice Prime Minister Bujar Osmani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, dr. Vlado Kambovski and dr. Svetomir Shkarik.

the fourth and the fifth public discussion will take place in Shtip and Tetovo on the 10th of December, Monday, starting at 10 o’clock.

The public discussion in the municipality of Shtip will be attended by Prime Minister Zaev, judge Margarita Caca Nikolovska and Ph.D. Gjorgji Spasov. The discussion will be opened by the mayor of the municipality of Shtip, Blagoj Bochvarski.

At the public discussion at the University of Southeastern Europe (UJIE) in Tetovo, the attendees will be addressed by Vice Prime Minister and a Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekjerinska, Vice Prime Minister Osmani, Ph.D. Besa Arifi and Ph.D. Blerim Reka. The discussion will be opened by UJIE’s rector, Ph.D. Abdulmenaf Bedzeti.

Commission for Constitutional Amendments adopts all draft amendments to change Constitution

Skopje, 12 November, 2018 - 13:04 (META) 

The Commission for Constitutional Affairs has adopted the fourth draft of amendments over the weekend, which ended the debate on the draft amendments to the Constitution, in accordance with the Prespa Agreement, between Macedonia and Greece.The draft amendments will be reviewed at a plenary session on December 1st, 2018.

The Commission began the debate on the amendments on November 7th and was scheduled to last 12 days, three days for each of the proposed amendments.

The first amendment proposes the replacement of the words, Republic of Macedonia, with the Republic of North Macedonia everywhere in the Constitution, apart from Article 36, which is written in a historical aspect. The second amendment in the Preamble of the highest legal act, are the ASNOM decisions which will be replaced with the proclamation of ASNOM and the Ohrid Framework Agreement, while the third adds a new stance that declares respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of neighboring countries. The fourth amendment proposes, in addition to confirming the Macedonian identity, that the Republic protects the rights and interests of its citizens residing or living abroad and promotes their ties to the motherland.

The establishment of draft amendments to the Constitution by Parliament is the second phase of the procedure for amending the Constitution. Draft amendments are established by a simple majority or 61 votes, after which will be reviewed at a public hearing.

The final decision for the adoption of amendments is conducted by a two-thirds majority or at least 80 votes. The amendment to the Preamble of the Constitution requires a Badinter majority.

Government accepts 8 amendments from the commission hearing on the budget

Skopje, 6 November, 2018 - 14:41 (META) 

At its 100th session, on the proposal of the Ministry of Finance, the Government reviewed and adopted the amendments to the budget re-balance for 2018 which was proposed at a commission hearing in Parliament.

“The eight amendments from the Government session were accepted as an addition to the proposal for amendments to the budget for 2018, and the new, integral text of the re-balance budget proposal will be followed at the adoption during a plenary session in Parliament,” the Government reported.

Opposition MPs submitted 180 amendments and criticized the Government for the weak economic growth and the non-realization of capital investments.

With the proposed budget re-balance from the Government, the largest allocation of funds is for the municipalities, in the amount of 3,020 billion denars, in order to reduce debt and unpaid bills.