Zaev: Four amendments to the Constitution, Ohrid Agreement will be added in the Preamble

Skopje, 2 November, 2018 - 13:02 (META) 

Through an inclusive and transparent process, the Government has drafted four draft amendments to amend the Constitution in accordance with the Prespa Agreement, announced Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at a the press conference in Government.

“The first amendment will be the replacement of the name Macedonia, with Northern Macedonia throughout the Constitution, except for Article 36, where there is a historical aspect. The second refers to the Preamble of the Constitution, where the decisions of ASNOM are replaced with the proclamation of the First ASNOM meeting and the Ohrid Framework Agreement is added to be a constitutive element of the state. In the third amendment, only one paragraph has been added, and that is that the Republic respects the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the neighbouring countries, which gives stronger guarantees of the durability and inviolability of the borders with Greece, although it applies to all neighbours. In the fourth amendment, in addition to confirming the Macedonian identity, it states that the Republic protects the rights and interests of its citizens home or abroad, and promotes their ties to the homeland,” said Zaev.

Answering a journalist’s question as to why he changed the decision for the Ohrid Framework Agreement to be part of the Constitution, the prime minister said that after a debate with MPs, he decided since the Constitution was already being opened, that the important document should be added, which has already been incorporated into the Constitution.

“The Ohrid Framework Agreement has been fully incorporated into the Constitution so far, and the argument that was given during the debate with MPs and the Government was that while the Constitution is open, it is time to include the title of the Framework Agreement as a constituent element because it is part of our Constitution, and therefore we decided that it should remain,” Zaev said.

When asked what was disputed with ASNOM to change this in the Constitution, Zaev said that now the Constitution will refer to the announcement of ASNOM, instead of the decisions of ASNOM because, if the change is not made, it would cause certain problems in certain points in the future of the cooperation between Macedonia and Greece.

“This is because part of the decisions from ASNOM say “Macedonians from Greece and Bulgaria are united”. That is not friendship. The proclamation does not have that part and we refer to it because it talks about the unity in the country, democracy for statehood, freedom and human rights, and that is a fair approach to building friendship,” Zaev said.

The prime minister said that academic experts assessed that the draft amendments were in accordance with international law, adding that the full text would be announced and appealed for the process to continue with the same inclusive dialogue.

Zaev: There is no need to further open Pandora’s Box

Skopje, 30 October, 2018 - 17:15 (META) 

Today, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that there is no need to further open Pandora’s Box, while commenting on moves made by the Albanian opposition – the BESA wing led by Bilal Kasami and the Albanian Alliance, who submitted draft amendments to the Constitution that will result in Macedonia strictly being defined as a civil state, and the Albanian language equal with the Macedonian language.

Regarding yesterday’s statement by Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Bujar Osmani on the TV show “Top Tema” on Telma television, that the Ohrid Agreement should be included in the preamble of the Constitution, the prime minister said that the issue was closed in 2011.

He added that he does not expect the process of constitutional changes in Parliament to be blocked, especially not from VMRO-DPMNE

Zaev: There is no need for early parliamentary elections

Negotino, 25 October, 2018 - 14:25 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev believes in a full four-year term mandate and does not feel that there should be early parliamentary elections, but says that for such a decision, the opposition, Albanian political parties and, above all, Parliament are all important.

“You know my position, unless it is urgently needed or necessary, only then would there be elections. I believe in a full mandate, mainly because of the economy, business, all the institutions, for the citizens to be able to plan for long time after a four years mandate, which means success and development and overall growth,” said Zaev while answering journalist’s questions during the visit to Stobi.

He added that elections would be necessary if the procedure for constitutional changes in Parliament was not possible.

“Now we see that it is possible, we will continue down this path. I know that at the beginning of April or late March the presidential election begins. We will probably determine by the end of this year that presidential elections only should be held, however, I repeat, I am only one of those important for such decisions, there is the opposition, the Albanian political parties, and above, Parliament,” Zaev said.

Mickoski: My heart broke when I watched you vote, we could’ve beaten Zaev

Skopje, 24 October, 2018 - 12:51 (META) 

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, at Tuesday’s celebration of the Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle, demanded that an amnesty law be passed for the people responsible for the events on April 27 in Parliament.

According to him, this way, there will be indiscriminate justice and freedom for all.

Regarding the newly-emerging situation in the party he leads, he said that last Friday was a “black Friday”, and MPs who voted against the party’s position, surrendered the party and the state and were guided by personal interest.

“There was a quiet and hellish pain in my heart that night. Our headquarters was quiet and uneasy. It was quiet, agonizing, painful, angry, desperate in Macedonian homes, in Macedonian cities and in Macedonian villages. It hurt and was hellish. What we saw made our spirits sink. What held us strong was your strength. That held us strong, even though the other day, you boasted and told myths that Macedonia was strong because of you. When I watched how one by one you raised your hand for Zaev’s proposal, with each lifting hand our hearts sunk. It was hellish,” saiid Mickoski.

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE in his address emphasized that if MPs did not vote “for” the need for constitutional changes, the party would win the elections.

“It took so little, if only you had persisted. If only you had not bowed to Zaev, he would have been finished. You have continued Zaev’s political career at the expense of Macedonia. You entered into his all-in-one plan, which shamefully traded with thousands of Macedonian souls. And, if you had persisted with us, we would have gone all the way to elections!. We will overcome evil. We will beat Zoran Zaev and the group around him. Did you not realize that he was finished? One thing I want to tell you, he is weak and weak he will remain, and your injection, your doping, will last for a short time,” added Mickoski.

The honorary party leader Nikola Gruevski did not attend the celebration of VMRO’s day, neither did President Gjorge Ivanov.

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.

Telephone conversation between Tsipras and Zaev: The Prespa Agreement is a priority

Athens, 18 October, 2018 - 13:18 (META) 

Prime ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras ha da telephone conversation after the resignation of the Greek minister of foreign affairs Nikos Kotsias.

The Greek government’s spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said that both prime ministers have agreed that they shall continue to work on the full implementation of the Prespa Agreement.

-The prime minister is contacting regularly with Mr. Zaev. It is obvious that the neighboring country’s prime minister will not comment on Greece’s internal affairs and they have agreed upon, and have repeated what is known to everyone that both are working in favor of 21 century Balkans and they work on implementing the Prespa Agreement – said Tzanakopoulos in an interview for the Greek state broadcasting service “ERT.”

The web portal IN, informs that Tsipras has informed Zaev about the circumstances that have led to Kotsias’ resignation and that he will personally take over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the Macedonian prime minister has reported the situation in Macedonia regarding the voting at the parliament and the position of VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs.

Zaev: Strong arming the judiciary never crossed my mind, I accept to talk with Mickoski

Skopje, 16 October, 2018 - 13:10 (META) 

On the second day at the session for constitutional revision that has resulted from the Agreement with Greece, VMRO-DPMNE’s MP, Krsto Jovanovski suggested Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to meet VMRO-DPMNE’s party leader, Hristijan Mickoski in order to find a joint solution.

-I will not vote for the constitutional revision because of the Prespa Agreement which as a person I don’t believe what it says inside. Mr. Zaev, don’t push these MPs to push a button for which they didn’t swear an oath about. Go meet our leader Mickoski 5-10 days, make a conclusion as it suits Macedonia, and then we shall talk here – said Jovanovski.

Even though after the referendum was over, Zaev said he will not be meeting with Mickoski, now accepts Jovanovski’s proposal and expressed his belief that only through talks they can come to a solution.

-We make additions to out name and make it more precise. At parliamentary elections, the citizens give their legitimacy to the MPs in order to make a decision. Regarding the name issue, we decided to ask our people. And we did ask them. The citizens that decided have come out and said their opinion. Those that didn’t, decided to stay home. Even Macedonia has to make a decision after that. I accept your proposal positively in order to talk with your leader Mickoski. I think that only through talks we will be able to come out with a solution. It didn’t cross my mind to strong-arm the court, but we have to make peace. I stand firmly that through a debate we shall all find a solution for Macedonia’s future – said Zaev.

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.

Boshnjakovski: The government expects to secure a two third majority necessary for the constitutional changes

Skopje, 10 October, 2018 - 14:53 (META) 

The government’s spokesperson, Mile Boshnjakovski, at today’s press conference about the decisions from last night’s 93 government session, has repeated the government’s expectations about achieving a two-third majority necessary for the constitutional changes regarding which, the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs will start today the discussion upon the proposal about the need for constitutional changes submitted by the government.

He announced that the prime minister Zoran Zaev will have the introductory speech before the Committee.

-We think that this historical decision that stands in front of the MPs of the Macedonian Parliament is of crucial significance for the accomplishment of Macedonia’s strategic goals for memberships into NATO and EU. We count and we expect that the majority of MPs in the Parliament will heed the will of the majority of citizens that voted “for” on the 30th of September – said Boshnjakovski.

Merkel’s letter to Zaev: All necessary steps to be taken for the implementation of the Agreement with Greece

Berlin, 9 October, 2018 - 17:30 (META) 

The Prespa Agreement offers a historical chance for Macedonia and contributes to the strengthening of the good neighborly relations, stresses the German chancellor, Angela Merkel in a letter addressed to the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

“On the 30th of September, the vast majority of over 90% of those who voted at the referendum voted “for” in favor of the Agreement with Greece. The Agreement offers a chance for a historic agreement and the strengthening of the relations between both countries. It also removes the key obstacle for bringing the country towards the EU and NATO. It is key now to take very important steps for the implementation of the name agreement by passing the necessary constitutional amendments. I will keep cooperating with you for the accomplishment of this goal” says the letter addressed to Zaev published on the German government’s web page.