Before the vote in Parliament to strip fugitive and former prime minister Nikola Gruevski of his parliamentary mandate for more than 6 months unjustified leave, he announced via his Facebook page that he would resign from his parliamentary function.

Gruevski was sentenced to two years in prison in a case against him led by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for the illegal purchase of a luxury Mercedes-Benz worth 600,000 euros. Law enforcement agencies have been unavailable to reach him since mid-November and, according to official information, he is in Budapest, Hungary where he enjoys political asylum. Otherwise, he is implicated in many other processes, including being a terrorist threat to the constitutional order and security during the attack on Parliament on April 27, 2017.

Gruevski said in a statement that he would formally and legally inform Parliament about his resignation “in the coming days”. In his Facebook post, he argues that the charges against him are lies, because he is against the EU, against NATO and against Albanians. He also denies that he has misused taxpayers money. In fact, he blames what he calls a campaign by the Social Democratic Union, where they did not save money for its “denigration, humiliation and creating a false image of untrue matters”. The reason for such a black campaign, according to Gruevski, is mostly because the Social Democrats are scared, however he would not explain what his political opponents were afraid of.

He claims that he his absence is justified because he was persecuted and forced to seek asylum. He also cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that political asylum has been listed as a human right since 1948.

He says that although there is no legal basis to strip him of his mandate, he will not allow MPs from VMRO-DPMNE to “be exposed to any pressures, false propaganda, unpleasantness and media lynching” and does not want SDSM to use this issue to avoid “debates on essential issues and problems that affect the people.”

A few days ago, the Committee on Mandate-Immunity Issues voted for a proposal to strip Nikola Gruevski of his mandate on the grounds that he was unjustifiably absent for more than six months. The motion was passed with five votes “for”, while MPs from VMRO-DPMNE refused to take part in the vote.

The plenary session, where two-thirds of lawmakers have to vote “for” in order to strip the former prime minster of his mandate, according to Talat Xhaferi, was due to be scheduled after June 7.

A few weeks before the session of the Committee on Mandate-Immunity Issues was held, a video (which has since been deleted) appeared on the Russian social network “VK”, where SDSM MP and Chairman of the Commission, Pavel Bogoevski, attempted to obtain an illegal substance.

Bogoevski, who was one of the leaders of the Colourful Revolution that removed Gruevski from power three years ago, announced his resignation on moral grounds. However, he stressed that his resignation will come into effect after the plenary session to strip Gruevski of his mandate is held.