Hahn: Build a two-thirds majority in Parliament instead of new elections


Vienna, 5 October, 2018 - 19:08 (META) 

New elections in Macedonia will obstruct the path to the start of EU negotiations, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn told the Austrian daily newspaper “Kurier”, saying he advised the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev not to call snap parliamentary elections but to form a two-thirds majority in the Assembly that would support the Agreement with Greece.

“New elections will obstruct the road to the start of negotiations with the EU. The opposition contributed to the low turnout through the boycott. Saying that the referendum was unsuccessful is far from true. It is unusual for a referendum to get support from 94% of voters, but only 37% took part – because the opposition was apparently successful in the boycott. In parliament, a two-thirds majority can be secured. The government needs 8 or 9 votes from the opposition and this must be feasible. Everyone says they want to be part of the EU and NATO, as well as the opposition, so therefore the price must be paid with this agreement,” says Hahn.

Answering a journalist’s question on how to reach the required majority in Parliament, Hahn replied “with a combination of the Balkans and rationality”.


Zaev: Early elections if VMRO-DPMNE does not respect the peoples’ decision


Skopje, 30 September, 2018 - 20:54 (META) 

The referendum is the most comprehensive tool of democracy. The outcome of the referendum is final and the will of the people must be respected by everyone. In a democracy, decisions are made by voting. I congratulate all citizens, we have had success for a European Macedonia.

This was stated by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev after polling stations closed in today’s referendum. The public were asked whether they, “Are for EU and NATO membership by accepting the Agreement with Greece”.

“The success is collective to our country and to all citizens, regardless of the organized boycott by VMRO-DPMNE, apart from the exceptions. I expect that the vast majority who did vote, chose the right path. Now the voice of the citizens, the will of all those who voted in this consultative referendum has to be turned into a political decision in Parliament. If, like we expected, have a huge, huge majority “for” from those who voted, with a vote from MPs in Parliament, we can finally accelerate the process for the EU, NATO and for a better life for our children. I expect MPs from VMRO-DPMNE to respect the decision of the people, otherwise there will be nothing else left to do, we will have to apply another democratic tool, which is early parliamentary elections right away,” Zaev said.

At the end of his short speech, Zaev stressed that he will continue to lead the country forward and that Macedonia will be a member of NATO and the EU.


AVMU: TV stations “Sonce” and “1TV” received fines for disallowed referendum advertising


Skopje, 24 September, 2018 - 18:06 (META) 

The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AVMU) will issue subpoenas against “1TV” and TV Sonce for constant violation of the referendum advertising during the period between 15th and 20th of September.

“AVMU stated that since its public announcement on the 14th of September, two broadcasters that are a subject of monitoring for the ways of covering the referendum didn’t adjust the broadcasting of the paid public propaganda with the Manual for media representation during the period when the referendum is occurring. “1TV” didn’t follow the allowed timing for the broadcasting of the “For” referendum advertisements, and TV Sonce for the “Boycott” of the referendum, which was in violation of the rules, and broadcasted them in several special informative programs. The Agency will issue subpoenas for violations that occurred in the period between 15-20th of September 2018″ informs AVMU.

AVMU also informed that the “inspection whether the rules for broadcasting paid public propaganda in this period was observed showed that several broadcasters, on the 20th of September, there were appeasements regarding the limits for broadcasting the media messages “For” referendum.

“If the data from the forthcoming days shows that these were not accidental mistakes, these broadcasters will receive fines in accordance to the regulations,” said AVMU.


Ivanov: I will not vote in the referendum on September 30


Detroit, 24 September, 2018 - 12:35 (META) 

President Gjorge Ivanov will not vote in the referendum on the name change. In Detroit, he told the United Macedonian Diaspora that 27 years ago, he voted for an independent country with dignity and that he will not go back on the promise he made the people.

“As for myself, I have already voted. I voted 27 years ago, on September 8, 1991. I was one of the people who voted for the Republic of Macedonia to become a sovereign and independent country, with its own name and dignity. I will not go back on that decision. Therefore, on September 30, I will not vote. Twice, I received a mandate from the people, not to allow changes to the constitution,  a change to the constitutional name, nor to accept ideas or proposals that will jeopardize the Macedonian national identity, the Macedonian nation, the Macedonian language and the model of Macedonian coexistence. I will not go back on my promise. Therefore, on September 30, I will not vote,”said Ivanov.

The president is currently on a visit to the United States. On September 27, he will address the general debate at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. He is also expected to meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres, and participate in several bilateral meetings with heads of state and government, and participants of the General Assembly.


VMRO-DPMNE misses deadline on its referendum position


Skopje, 11 September, 2018 - 13:11 (META) 

Yesterday was the deadline that Hristijan Mickoski announced at the beginning of last month as the date when VMRO-DPMNE will publicly announce its position on the referendum.

The Executive Committee of the main opposition party is expected to meet today, after which VMRO-DPMNE may announce whether it fully supports or rejects the referendum, or will leave its members and sympathizers to make an independent decision on whether or how to vote in the referendum.

Unlike the headquarters, prominent party members have already expressed their views on the referendum ballot question. MP Antonio Milososki expressed his position that he would boycott the referendum, and “the reformer” Petar Bogojeski will vote, because a vote “against” is a vote for Macedonia.


Zaev: If the referendum fails, we are probably done with politics


Skopje, 1 September, 2018 - 9:07 (META) 

My mandate as prime minister ends in 2020. If the referendum fails, we are probably done with politics. Why do we need to rule when our country has no future? Hence, I have my views regarding the responsibility of all the main political factors about the state, including VMRO-DPMNE, which should be working on securing a prosperous future for the Republic of Macedonia, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the conference “Macedonia looks ahead: it is the time to get the EU train “In Skopje, today.

He again urged the opposition VMRO-DPMNE to join and enable a successful referendum, as he said, a successful future for the country.

“We need to be united. The opposition and the government could possibly differ and disagree on many issues, but when we create history we should stand together, because there is no alternative for our country, and therefore, I will not stop calling the opposition to join the referendum”, Zaev said.


SDSM will spend 400.000 euros on the referendum


Skopje, 29 August, 2018 - 13:32 (META) 

SDSM does not plan to spend more than 300-400 thousand euros on the referendum campaign. The campaign should pass in a pleasant and attractive atmosphere, after which citizens will vote “for”.

This was stated by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev yesterday from Kriva Palanka, who said that they should not be spent more money because, the referendum itself is not like parliamentary elections and does not require as much campaign costs.

“Our intention is for the referendum to pass in a pleasant and attractive atmosphere for the citizens, different than any other electoral process. Therefore, I believe that citizens will come out and vote “for” in such a pleasant atmosphere,” Zaev said.

Today, the extended time for parliamentary groups ends for announcing whether they will participate in the campaign and whether they are “for” or “against”. So far, only the ruling majority parties and MP Antonio Milososki from VMRO-DPMNE have voted in favor of an independent campaign. Mr Milososki is calling for a boycott, while VMRO-DPMNE’s official position on the referendum should be announced today.


Milososki will boycott the referendum and has asked for funds to campaign


Skopje, 24 August, 2018 - 14:54 (META) 

MP Antonio Milososki of VMRO-DPMNE, through a statement sent to the Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi said that he would be participating in the public propaganda campaign in the upcoming referendum.

“I, Antonio Milososki MP for VMRO-DPMNE in coordination with the coordinator of the Parliamentary Group of VMRO-DPMNE, inform you that I will take part in the public propaganda campaign for the upcoming referendum. I will be boycotting the referendum because I am against it, and to boycott is a guaranteed democratic option for every citizen,” reads Milososki’s statement which was sent to Xhaferi.

The MP asked to be given funds for to campaign for his position on the referendum.


VMRO-DPMNE has not yet decided whether to boycott referendum


Skopje, 31 July, 2018 - 17:05 (META) 

Zaev has decided to force an issue that is meaningless and equivocal, just to cover up the capitulation in the negotiations with Greece while the acceptance of this agreement of capitulation fulfills Greece’s red lines. No politician in the history of the Republic of Macedonia has made such concessions, said General Secretary of VMRO-DPMNE Igor Janushev, at today’s press conference.

“It is shameful to compare the historic referendum of 1991 with the private referendum that Zaev is pushing forward now. Then (in 1991), all the political parties reached a consensus on the referendum, and the citizens decided for an independent Republic of Macedonia. Now, there is no consensus and citizens are being asked to vote for the eradication of the Republic of Macedonia, its tradition, history and culture”, says Janushev.

Responding to a journalist’s question, Janushev said that in the upcoming days, VMRO-DPMNE will announce the party’s official position on whether they will boycott the referendum on 30th of September.

“The public will be informed after an official position by the leadership of the party is adopted. It will be in the upcoming days”, said Janushev, adding that it is the party members’ democratic right to boycott the referendum.


VMRO-DPMNE will temporarily return to Parliament for Stoltenberg’s speech


Skopje, 16 January, 2018 - 18:56 (META) 

MPs from VMRO-DPMNE will attend Parliament on Thursday to hear NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s speech, who is coming tomorrow to visit the country.

However, for now, the return of the opposition to the benches will be only for this occasion, as for the future, the party says, they will inform the general public in a timely manner.

“We have been and remain with our policy orientations towards the European Union and NATO. It is true that we will attend the address of the NATO Secretary General. For further matters, whether we are returning or not to Parliament, we will inform you and the general public in a timely manner”, said the director of the Center for Communications of the party, Ivo Kotevski for “Focus”.

The main opposition party, for a month and a half, have boycotted working in Parliament because of the detainment of suspects from last year’s violence on April 27th, among six are MPs from VMRO-DPMNE.

The new party leader, Hristijan Mickoski, recently said that their MPs will return to Parliament “when a democratic environment is created for it to function”.