With 80 votes in favor of, the Parliament has endorsed the decision for constitutional amendments

Skopje, 20 October, 2018 - 11:34 (META) 

After all day waiting for the start of the parliamentary session for constitutional changes, this evening the ruling majority succedded in securing a two-thord majority for a proposal of the government of the need for constitutional changes. Out of 117 MPs present, there were 80 votes in favor of, without any votes against or restrained.

From the opposition coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE the following MPs voted in favor of: Vladanka AVirovik, Emilija Aleksandrova, Sasho Vasilevski, Nora Ismailovska Starova, Elizabeta Kancheska Milevska, Krsto Mukoski and Ljuben Arnaudov.

The remaining MPs from VMRO-DPMNE’s MP group, during the voting, stood from their seats and remained on the side to see who will vote in favor of. Coordinator Dragan Danev asked for a single voting and then the Parliament’s secretary, Cvetanka Ivanova read the names of all of the MPs separately and they stated whether they voted “yes” or “no.”

The ruling majority was trying for several days to reach a two-thirds majority that was necessary for the start of the changes of the constitution through amendments.

Until yesterday, VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs were categorically opposed to the proposal for constitutional changes. On Wednesday, their MP group issued a letter in which they stated that they will not participate in any debates at the parliament, which they named as fruitless, and stressed that they will not vote for constitutional changes.

CEMM reacts to VMRO-DPMNE’s demands from MIA agency to reveal its source

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 12:45 (META) 

The Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CEMM) has issued a reaction to VMRO-DPMNE’s demands for the state news agency MIA to reveal its sources regarding the text that the European People’s Party (EPP) wants to exclude them from their ranks.

“CEMM reminds that one of the basic rights, and sometimes an obligation on part of the journalist is to protect its source. We remind you of Article 4 from the codex of the journalists of Macedonia where it states: “The journalist will state the source of information, but if the source demands to be kept anonymous, the journalist will protect him.” Macedonia has undesigned to all relevant resolutions of the Council of Europe for the protection of sources as part of the freedom of the press. The role of the political parties in one democratic state cannot mean their interference in the work of the journalists and these demands denote an open pressure and efforts for the public discrediting of the medium,” stated further CEMM’s press release.

VMRO-DPMNE has demanded this after EPP’s president, Joseph Daul, at a press conference has said that EPP is considering to exclude Victor Orban’s party from its ranks, while not mentioning VMRO-DPMNE. He released a tweet about VMRO-DPMNE, where he called upon a constructivism instead of boycotting.

The Macedonian Information Agency (MIA) explained that their correspondent from Brussels had her own sources regarding the information, that they published about the exclusion of VMRO-DPMNE from EPP, which was followed by pressure on part of this party about revealing the source.

“Joseph Daul’s tweet cannot be seen as a disclaimer of the information published by MIA a week ago, which were checked and recorded. Therefore, it’s about two completely different events, intended for two different parties, Viktor Orban’s Fides and VMRO-DPMNE, on the same subject. This means that one statement doesn’t deny the other. For both occurrences, MIA has recorded statements in their possession” reacts MIA>

Zaev: I believe MPs from VMRO-DPMNE will rise up to this historic opportunity

Skopje, 18 October, 2018 - 15:49 (META) 

Together with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, we remain fully committed to the perspectives of the new Balkans of the 21st century, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said today, answering a journalist’s question regarding yesterday’s telephone conversation with his Greek counterpart after the resignation of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

The prime minister added that Tsipras informed him about the developments and that he remained committed what had been agreed and that he also assumed the function of the foreign minister in order to guarantee the Prespa Agreement be implemented.

“I am happy because of the Hellenic Republic’s full commitment to this Agreement. I can confirm our full commitment. I cherish the hope that Parliament will gather strength tomorrow, that MPs will be more daring and encouraged, because, above all, they represent the citizens, and then the political parties, and rise up to this historical responsibility, for this opportunity for Macedonia. Finally a pass to confirm the need for opening constitutional changes,” said Zaev.

Answering a journalist’s question as to how he will secure a two-thirds majority, the president of the Macedonian government said that he is a believer and that miracles sometimes happen.

VMRO-DPMNE has asked for Mickoski to address the MPs but Xhaferri didn’t allow that

Skopje, 16 October, 2018 - 14:05 (META) 

VMRO-DPMNE’S MP group coordinator, Dragan Danev, has read a letter from a group of MPs to the President of the Parliament Talat Xhaferri with a request for their leader Hristijan Mickoski, who is not an MP, to address the MPs.

-Taking into consideration the situation that Macedonia is in, we as MPs and the citizens, I think and appeal to you to be on a level of the task that you are performing and to allow our party leader Misckoski to address in front of the Parliament and the MPs and the Macedonian nation. It has happened before in the history of this Parliament – said Danev

Xhaferi read Article 72 of the Parliament’s Rules of Procedures and said that such possibility was not determined by it and has rejected their request.

– I have no basis according to which I would invite Mickoski to participate in the work of the parliament. It is not up to me but it is up to the Rules of Procedures. I have no problem with it, but I have no options how to allow that 0 said Xhaferi.

This is what the Rule of Procedures writes:

Article 72

(1) At the Parliamentary session, only the president of the Republic, the president of the government, the ministers and the authorized representative of the proposer of a law that was submitted by at least 10.000 voters can be present or to take part in.
(2) The Parliament’s president can invite representatives and other organs and organizations can be invited to be present or to participate in the work only when issues of their jurisdiction are discussed.

Article 73

The president of the Parliament can issue an invitation for a participation at the parliament’s session to hold a speech to other countries’ high-ranking parliamentary and state representatives and international organizations or other renowned foreigners.

At the session for a constitutional revision quarrels about the Prespa Agreement and the referendum have erupted again

Skopje, 15 October, 2018 - 16:32 (META) 

The parliamentary session for constitutional revision is occurring in an ambiance of mutual accusations between the government and the opposition regarding the Prespa Agreement. The ruling majority state that the implementation of the Agreement will help Macedonia to rise above the isolation and to have a better future. VMRO-DPMNE ‘s MPs state that the government doesn’t have a mandate to change the Constitution and that the Agreement with Greece is not a good solution.

VMRO-DPMNE’s MP, Ilija Dimovski said that Macedonia has no other alternative but EU and NATO, but there are other alternatives how to reach that.

-The alternative is to take away Zaev’s power because he acts beyond his mandate and to seek a strategic partnership with the EU and NATO until the complete solution of this issue – said DImovski.

SDSM’s MP coordinator, Tomislav Tuntev has called upon VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs to go to their leader Hristijan Mickoski and to convince him that now is the moment fora better future for this country.

For a better future, we need brave and visionary leaders, said DUI’s Artan Grubi and told the MPs not to think about next elections but to think about the next generations.

VMRO-DPMNE”s MP coordinator, Dragan Danev said that there is neither possibility nor will to vote against the will of the citizens that was expressed at the referendum, which he said was a failure.

The Parliament’s President, Talat Xhaferi has called for a lunch break after which the discussion about the revision will continue.

Zaev has called for reconciliation and forgiveness

Skopje, 15 October, 2018 - 13:20 (META) 

We have made divisions amongst ourselves, politically, and we began hating each other, we almost killed each other in front of everyone on the 27th of April, and now here is a chance to reconcile and forgive one another, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the Parliament, while debating the government’s proposal for constitutional changes.

“Let’s give each other hands and I’m sending an appeal for reconciliation. I know that this comes with a price, but politicians come and go, and the country’s future is most important. There is no future for our country if we do not forgive each other. I call upon the MPs to think and to look towards the future, whether they would like to see a European Macedonia or isolation, poverty, and instability” said Zaev during the plenary session that is happening now.

Misovski: VMRO-DPMNE should overcome their inner differences and to vote for constitutional changes

Skopje, 12 October, 2018 - 14:54 (META) 

VMRO-DPMNE should overcome their inner differences and stop preventing the EU accession process, stated the Parliament’s Vice President, Goran Misovski. He called upon the opposition MPs to vote for the constitutional changes.

-I don’t want to believe that the MPs and VMRO-DPMNE’s leadership will prevent Macedonia’s road towards EU and NATO. If the voting doesn’t pass, there is no other alternative and snap elections will be the only choice – said Misovski.

He didn’t want to comment on the potential pressure on MPs. According to him, it is a matter for MoI and the executive authorities.

-We are standing in front of a decision that will define the country’s future. We have an obligation to follow the voice of the majority. The government’s proposal is available, it confirmed that we will not lose anything but in contrary, the Macedonian identity is strengthened. The decision to vote for the constitutional changes will strengthen the territorial identity, the statehood, and the minority care. We had clashes about various subjects, but for EU and NATO we always agreed upon – said Misovski

Hahn: VMRO-DPMNE must abandon its destructive approach

Brussells, 9 October, 2018 - 11:47 (META) 

The EU Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, in an interview for the Austrian magazine “Standard”, said that he is acquainted with the threats issued by the opposition against MPs that want to abandon the party’s lines and to support the Agreement with Greece at the Parliament.

He has asked VMRO-DPMNE to abandon, as he said, its destructive approach and to put the country’s interests and those of the citizens above the party’s interests. He also said that the party will bear full responsibility for the closure of the EU’s doors for Macedonia if the Agreement doesn’t pass.

-This is completely unacceptable for a party that says it is pro-European, democratic party – said Hahn.

He reminds that the Euro-Atlantic integration is a declared goal for VMRO-DPMNE, but the party has to prove that in fact and that the Agreement with Greece will open the doors for the EU and NATO accession.

For the EU Commissioner, the referendum was purely consultative and the vast majority of the citizens voted “For.”

-The boycott calls mean a lack of democratic maturity – thinks the EU Commissioner.

Hahn said that the snap elections carry a risk for breaching the set deadlines for the name agreement and expressed his doubts whether Greece will be able to pass that in its own Parliament. He also said that new elections don’t guarantee the necessary two-third majority.

-Now there is a chance that has to be used or otherwise this unique chance for the Agreement to get passed and with it the road towards EU membership can be lost for a long time, maybe forever – said Hahn.

He also said that VMRO will be completely taken as responsible for such scenario and the missed opportunity that is important not only for Macedonia but the whole region.

VMRO-DPMNE to file 200 criminal charges regarding irregularities in the referendum

Skopje, 5 October, 2018 - 11:27 (META) 

Vice-President of VMRO-DPMNE, Aleksandar Nikolovski informed that the Central Committee at its last session confirmed the conclusions from the Executive Committee; the dismissal of the public prosecutor and the election of a public prosecutor on the proposal of the opposition, the establishment of an Inquiry Committee in Parliament who will investigate all irregularities in connection with the referendum and respect for the law on government and elections in order to form a Government in the Przino model with a mandate of 100 days.

“Tonight, the Central Committee came to the conclusion urgently to municipal committees to form municipal electoral headquarters that will function until the end of the presidential election. The Central Committee has analyzed in detail the irregularities in certain municipalities where over 50,000 votes were abused during the day of the referendum, ie there was filling of boxes, as well as all pressures that occurred before the referendum day and all the continuous pressures that occur after the referendum day. Almost all the presidents of municipal committees have reported that a large number of citizens who did not vote in the referendum or who have voted against, have been moved from their jobs outside the law on public administration and are being sacked from private companies”, said Nikoloski.

The party vice president said that according to observers, this was a gross and violent falsification of the will of the citizens and this resulted in an unprecedented robbery to date. Therefore, Nikoloski said, the Central Committee has come to the decision that it does not recognize the result of the referendum and considers it to be rigged.

“For these reasons, VMRO-DPMNE will file criminal charges to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the next few days, against more than 200 people. These are presidents, deputy presidents, members and deputy members of the electoral boards at polling stations in the municipalities of Struga, Centar Zupa, Kicevo, Zelino, Bogovinje, Plasnica and Saraj,” he said.

After the session of the Central Committee, Nikolovski said that VMRO-DPMNE is not fighting a battle for power and elections, but are preserving the name of Macedonia.

Zaev: VMRO-DPMNE’s requests are absolutely unacceptable

Ohrid, 4 October, 2018 - 15:22 (META) 

VMRO-DPMNE’s request for a technical government with a mandate of 100 days in accordance with the Przino Agreement, for a new Public prosecutor and an Inquiry Commission for the referendum, are absolutely unacceptable, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev today in Ohrid, where he is taking part in a scientific conference about Macedonia’s future economic development organized by MANU.

-There is no reason nor necessity to be discussing subjects such as these. The institutions gave their comments. To request a Commission to check whether the referendum was legal, whether it was legally carried out and similar, in conditions when SEC’s president is a member of VMRO-DPMNE, including the Administrative Court, which still has the same personnel, reveals what are the intentions with requests such as these – said Zaev.

He announced that he still holds the opinion that in the forthcoming days there will be talks with the MPs at the Parliament in a calm, normal and responsible atmosphere.

-We believe that we shall have some results by the end of the week or at the start of next. Sometime around the 10th of October is a limit when we will have to announce the public about our future steps. I hope that we shall have an opportunity to announce that the necessary two third majority has been secured – said Zaev.

According to him it shall be for the benefit of the country because Macedonia will not lose more time, but stressed that the possibility of solving this situation at snap parliamentary elections still remains even though he doesn’t want the,