German diplomat: Give Zaev the mandate
Thursday, 09 March 2017

German diplomatic envoy for the Balkans and Turkey Christian Hellbach called on Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov to give the mandate to form a Government to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, and also said he sees nothing wrong with the thorny issue of the Tirana platform.

"My visit serves to underline that Germany cares about your future. Germany reaffirms its commitment to support your country on its way towards NATO and the EU. For this to become possible, the swift formation of a Government along the results of the recent elections dedicated to implement the Urgent Reform Priorities is needed. The reform process is central. The people need jobs, social security, rule of law and effective measures against corruption. We call on all actors to refrain from raising divisive issues not related to these priorities. We are confident that the President will have the wisdom to respect the results of the recent elections and allow the majority in Parliament to form a Government as soon as possible", Hellbach said in a press statement.

President Ivanov refused to give the mandate to the leader of the Social-Democratic Union (SDS) Zoran Zaev, because he subscribed to the Tirana platform. The platform was drafted by three ethnic Albanian parties, working along with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana, and it calls for changes to Macedonian national emblems, the name and other concessions. It acceptance by SDSM has sparked daily mass protests across Macedonia. Asked by a journalist if he sees anything wrong with the platform, Hellbach shortly replied "No".

The German diplomat also called on all political parties to refrain from raising tensions and negative rhetoric toward Soros NGO groups or international community representatives and to support the work of the Special Prosecutor.

Prior to this, Ivanov faced pressure from the French liberals to give Zaev the mandate. However, at this point, this is all empty rhetoric.


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