Former Prime Minister and current MP Nikola Gruevski did not sign any of the over 35,000 amendments that the opposition VMRO-DPMNE submitted in an attempt to block the law on languages proposed by the government, reports ‘Nezavisen/Independent’ from senior party sources. Gruevski’s austerity revolts his party colleagues, who claim that he does not even appear at the regular consultations of the parliamentary group.
“He is probably courting the former coalition partner, Ali Ahmeti, but, however, he does not demonstrate unity with us and keeps his distance, because he is honored as someone who dictated the government for years, and now he needs to fulfill regular daily activities “, VMRO-DPMNE MPs claim.
The leadership of the party is in Brussels, so there was no one to confirm such information. The VMRO-DPMNE Parliamentary Group does not participate in the work of the Parliament since the beginning of December, after a series of arrests of MPs and party supporters were carried out due to the events of April 27th. During that time, the opposition made only two concessions: the first when President Gjorge Ivanov addressed the parliamentarians and the second one during the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Last week, Vice President Mitko Jancev announced that the parliamentary group is returning to Parliament because of the “unconstitutional” plan of SDSM and DUI to pass the Law on Languages, which was once voted but was not signed by Ivanov. More than 35,000 amendments have been submitted, which should block the parliamentary debate.
Less surprisingly, the yesterday’s coordinator of the VMRO-DPMNE parliamentary group, Ilija Dimovski, froze before the public, who froze his activities after the arrival of Hristijan Mickoski as president of the party, that is, after the obvious favoritism he received from the old leadership headed by Gruevski, who, in turn, was elected honorary president.
He stated that his parliamentary group, through the procedure for submitting numerous amendments to the Law on the Use of Languages, is trying to send a message to SDSM and DUI to think and accept what the majority of citizens and experts demand.
“We do not say that there are no solutions, on the contrary, there should be a solution, but it should be built on sound foundations, and not be adopted by breaking the Rules of Procedures for least ten times so far,” said Dimovski.
According to him, this legal solution is one-sided by DUI, and SDSM is forced to bring it, and it can produce a crisis.
“In order not to get into a crisis situation, we warn every possible way,” Dimovski assessed.
Opposition MPs, he said, will participate in the work of Parliament only on the Law on the Use of Languages. According to Dimovski, consultations with the expert public and associations of smaller ethnic communities were not conducted for the Law on Languages. He says a European flag has been put on the law in order to limit the discussion.
“The goal is not to stop the law at a certain stage, but to include all the factors in the adoption. We are afraid that the law will generate crises in the future. SDSM and DUI have the room to inspect and re-examine the solutions to the law, and they can do so with the parties, experts, faculties, “said Dimovski.
Amendments end up in an archive, not in a waste bin
It is not possible for VMRO-DPMNE’s amendments to the Law on the Use of Languages to be destroyed and end up in a dumpster. Each Member of Parliament has the right to file an amendment, which must be archived in the Assembly, and its submitter receives a copy with a stamp and an archive number. Subsequently, all the submitted amendments are distributed to the Members of Parliament and to all who need it.
This is how Aleksandra Novakovski, the former Secretary General of the Parliament, explains why she believes that VMRO-DPMNE’s claims are not credible that some of their amendments ended in a waste bin and that they basically were destroyed.
“There were cases of throwing away parliamentary materials before. But it was never a problem because they were mostly badly copied documents or non-use materials with errors,” says Novakovski.
In the case of VMRO-DPMNE’s 35,000 amendments, Novakovski says that it takes a lot of time for their archiving and assurance and that it will certainly cost the Parliament.
Given that the amendment debate at the plenary session can last for unlimited time, and that each of MPs have the right to speak for ten minutes, Novakovski believes that the procedure for re-voting of the Law on Languages is unlikely to be unblocked soon.
“There is a possibility that the same or similar amendments can be clustered and thus shorten the discussion a bit. However, it is a matter of many interventions, so I think that the only way to unblock the law, and even the Parliament as a whole, is for VMRO-DPMNE to withdraw the amendments. But I do not know if this can happen,” said Novakovski. (A.M.M.)