Macedonia sinks into a deeper crisis

Last night, an hour before midnight, without the presence of the opposition, the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia was dissolved. SDSM boycotted the urgent session for dissolution of the Parliament, whose ministers had previously submitted resignations, but had not been confirmed by the parliamentary majority.

In addition to the dissolution of the Assembly, the President of the Assembly Trajko Veljanovski did not sign the decision for holding elections on June 5. As Veljanovski stated, he wants to give the State Election Commission time to resolve the dilemmas concerning the Voters Register.

Immediately after the dissolution of the Assembly, the leader of SDSM Zoran Zaev held a press conference at which he stated that the opposition would not participate in the elections scheduled for June 5.

“For months we have fought for free and democratic elections. To restore the basic democratic principle, ‘one man-one vote’. To return the right to having a different opinion. The Przino Agreement was signed to ensure all of this. Nikola Gruevski has been constantly disregarding the Przino Agreement. The Voters Register has not been cleared. The media reforms have not been accepted. Pressures continue. For us, we respect a given word. We are not giving up on the principles on which we insist upon. Together with the entire democratic public For the sake of the given word, the principles, and for the sake of democracy, SDSM will not participate in these false elections”, stated Zaev.

According to Zaev, SDSM leaves open the possibility to withdraw three of its party members from the SEC. Yesterday, members of the SEC took opposing positions regarding the field checks and the filtering of the Voters Register. For the VMRO-DPMNE members, the Voters Register is ideal, whereas for the members of SDSM, much more work is needed in order to have it completely cleared. The opinion of the President of the SEC, Aleksandar Cicakovski, is that he will not sign the voters register if there is only one controversial voter.

With the decision for dissolution of the Parliament, the parliamentary majority has showed that it has no respect for the views of the leaders of 18 political parties, among which are 5 parliamentary, who at the public discussion on “Pluralism and the political crisis” organized by CIVIL – Center for Freedom, unanimously stated that conditions for holding fair and democratic elections on June 5 have not been created.

CIVIL has been warning the public for many months about the serious problems in the implementation of the Przino Agreement and has been informing the public every day on the hundreds of cases of abuses and violations of human rights and freedoms in the electoral context.

CIVIL has many times presented analyses that conditions are not at all being created for holding free elections in the country and has pointed out the problems with the Voters Register, the obstructions to the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, the control over the media, the politicization of the institutions, the identification of the party with the state…

The majority political party representatives that have participated in the public discussions organized by CIVIL have expressed similar or same conclusions. However, the parliamentary majority of the parties in power have not shown the slightest interest in the standpoints of the civil society organizations or the parties that are not in their coalition.

CIVIL, prior to the session of the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia, at the press conference in front of the Parliament, presented its position in that free elections on June 5 are not possible. At the same time, CIVIL demanded a resignation of the Government due to its failure to implement the Agreement for overcoming the political crisis, signed in Przino, which has prevented conditions to be created for holding free elections in Republic of Macedonia.

Furthermore, the Citizens Association MOST, at yesterday’s press conference pointed out the large number of irregularities and violations of the electoral law that it receives from the field. Recently, MOST was visited by the financial police, which according to the organization is a way to defocus the public from the irregularities that MOST announced publicly concerning the field checks conducted by the SEC.

In the last day and night, with the arrogant and rigid position of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE and the parties in the constellation of this party, Macedonia has entered a new and deeper political crisis.

Marija Tegovska

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