The government is being accused of deliberate attempt to cover up fraudulent referendum after it moved to fast track the passage of constitutional amendments Monday. The move was labeled ‘illegitimate’ by opposition VMRO-DPMNE members, who say PM Zoran Zaev has no legitimacy to amend the Constitution in order to change the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia.
“Zoran Zaev has no legitimacy to change the identity, history, culture and tradition of the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to irregularities, intimidation, voter bribery and ballot-box stuffing, the citizens said ‘no’. As many as 1.2 million people showed a ‘red card’ to Zaev and SDSM. They citizens did not support his anti-state policy and made it clear that Prespa deal to change the country’s name is politically dead,” VMRO-DPMNE said on Monday after the press conferences of government spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski and vice-president of parliament Frosina Remenski. The two announced the introduction of constitutional amendments into the legislative house.
Amendments to change the Constitution have been declared urgent as the government moves to push the motion through parliament.
The opposition party slammed any attempt to forcibly push the Prespa deal through parliament, branding the move a “rape of the will of the citizens”. The party once again urged Prime Minister Zoran Zaev “to quit the deal designed to change the country’s name”.
Dimitriev: SDSM is blocking security sector reform
SDSM had once again demonstrated its hypocrisy and irresponsible behavior, especially when it comes to crucial areas of state functioning, VMRO-DPMNE’s legislator Emil Dimitriev said on Tuesday.
Dimitriev said lengthy meetings between MPs of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM ended up with a consensus on amendments to the Law on Interception of Communication, “amendments that would definitely unblock the parliamentary oversight of security and intelligence agencies, with reference to the use of special investigative measures”.
“Over the past year, SDSM and Parliament’s leadership did not allow the Committee for Oversight of the Communication Interception to initiate a procedure for selection of technical experts to support the work of the Committee,” Dimitriev said.
PES European Affairs Ministers support pre-accession talks with N. Macedonia and Albania
Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov on Tuesday attended a meeting of EU ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES).
The meeting, which took place in Luxembourg shortly before the start of the General Affairs Council (GAC) meeting, was chaired by German State Minister for Europe Michael Roth.
At the meeting, the PES European Affairs Ministers pledged support for pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
The members of the General Affairs Council from the PES welcomed at the meeting the acting foreign minister of Albania Gent Cakaj and the foreign affairs minister of North Macedonia – Nikola Dimitrov.
The European Ministers from the Party of European Socialists urged the immediate start of EU membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, at their meeting today in Luxembourg.
The Chair of the meeting, German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said: “The EU is a great role model and it has enormous influence over its neighbours. We must keep exerting that positive influence by opening the door to pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.”
“Both countries have strengthened their democracies and stepped up necessary efforts of modernisation under their current progressive leaderships. We must encourage them to keep following that path, and promote stability and prosperity in the region. That’s why we need to send the right signals,” Roth said.
“The EU’s soft power should be used to support pro-European forces everywhere in Europe, especially in the Western Balkans, our immediate neighbourhood. This is in the EU’s best interest”, Michael Roth added.
The PES ministers reiterated that by delaying again the start of the accession process for Albania and North Macedonia, the EU would leave a strategic vacuum that might be filled by other players.
In June 2018, the EU held out the prospect of the two countries being invited to start membership talks and the European Commission declared in May this year that both had made the necessary progress on democratic standards and the rule of law.
Pendarovski to EU: Give us a chance to show we are ready
Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski, in an interview with Austrian Die Presse daily, called on the EU states to start discussions on the accession of North Macedonia as soon as possible.
Asked by Die Presse to tell whether his country still hopes to receive a signal from the EU for start of accession talks given the very negative statement made by France recently, Pendarovski warned EU will lose much of its credibility if accession negotiations are further delayed.
“We do not hope for a signal, we are expecting a decision. Over the past year and a half, we have delivered everything we should. We even changed our name after the historic agreement with Greece. So far, no candidate country has done so. If the EU says the approximation process is based on performance, then we do not expect more or less than be assessed by what we have achieved,” Pendarovski told Die Presse.
“My message is: Give us a chance and let us show that we are ready.”
If the accession negotiations are
delayed further, the EU will lose much of its
credibility, and EU-enthusiasm will drop
dramatically, he added.
“Citizens asked us why we need to change the name of our country. We told them – so that we could join the EU. We have fulfilled everything. Now the citizens wonder why the delay”, Pendarovski said.
Speaking about migrants, Pendarovski said no increase in the number of migrants from Turkey had been observed in North Macedonia. “So far, we haven’t noticed a significant increase in the number of migrants.”
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