VMRO-DPMNE and SDS remain deadlocked in Parliament
Monday, 10 April 2017

In the Macedonian Parliament, representatives resumed the discussion on forming a Committee on Elections and Appointments, which entered in its third week. SDSM representatives again asked Speaker Trajko Veljanoski and the representatives from the VMRO-DPMNE party to end their effective filibuster of the session and move on to the next item on the agenda - election of a new Parliament Speaker, for which SDSM says it has the support of the DUI party and enough votes in the narrowly divided Parliament.

SDSM initiated its request under article 78 of the Parliament rules, that they say forces Speaker Veljanoski to end the discussion on the current item, and move forward to the election of a new Speaker. "We have the support of 10 members of Parliament to put to vote the motion to move to the next item. Until we hear a single argument from Speaker Veljanoski against our proposal, we will continue to demand this and Veljanoski is bound to put our proposal to the vote", said SDSM's Oliver Spasovski.

VMRO-DPMNE representative Krsto Mukoski said that article 80 indicates that once a discussion is opened on an item, it needs to continue until all representatives who have asked to speak have had the chance to do so. Some 50 members of Parliament asked to speak on the current item, and due to the frequent and numerous filibuster discussions, in two weeks only several of them have finished their remarks in full.

Instead of on the candidates for the Committee on Elections and Appointments, the debate is focused on the controversial Tirana platform, which three ethnic Albanian parties forged together with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and which calls for changes to the Macedonian name, national emblems, and a number of other concessions in the regulating of inter-ethnic relations. SDSM received the signatures from these three parties, DUI, BESA and the Alliance of Albanians, for its leader Zoran Zaev to receive the mandate to form a Government, even though not all of them are determined to join him in the Government, and VMRO-DPMNE said it will oppose the election of a Speaker and a parliamentary majority that pursues agendas written in a foreign capital. Vladimir Gjorcev from VMRO-DPMNE said that SDSM have often used the option to hold Parliament filibusters and they were allowed to do so.

Antonio Miloshoski from VMRO-DPMNE said that he understands that SDSM representatives are nervous, because their leader Zaev has a limited time to implement the foreign agenda he promised to push through Parliament.

"But, we can't allow the Parliament's rules and procedures, and the right of the people's representatives to speak to be sacrificed from what Zaev agreed to do after the elections were over", Miloshoski said. VMRO-DPMNE demands early elections in which SDSM voters, most of whom are ethnic Macedonians, will be able to vote on whether they accept or reject the Tirana platform, considering that the document was presented only after the elections that were held on December 11th.

Ferid Muhic, member of Parliament from SDSM, asked the representatives not to accuse each other of being criminals, or to speak about the Tirana platform, denying the existence of a document under such a name. Muhic later said that, once the new Speaker is elected, there will be a discussion on the demands contained in the document.


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