Government to use lawsuits as defense against VMRO-DPMNE

Government ministers and directors will defend themselves with lawsuits against VMRO-DPMNE and its spokespersons, from accusations coming from this party for arranged tenders, problems with medication or news articles with fake content. VMRO-DPMNE says that these threats are in vain.
The Ministry of Health is particularly targeted by the opposition party. The latest lawsuit announced by Minister Venko Filipce is for the press conference of VMRO-DPMNE spokesman Naum Stoilkovski three days ago, when he accused of alleged donation of medicines with a short expiration date from a non-governmental organization owned by Filipce. Representatives of this organization claim that the RNM-SEE non-governmental organization, in which the Minister of Health is a member, is part of a large civil international organization and has not been in operation for more than a year. VMRO-DPMNE also accused that the insulin shots are also with a short expiration date.
“These untruthful statements are damaging the Ministry of Health and affecting the patients, which is why we call on the VMRO-DPMNE spokesman, Naum Stoilkovski, to publicly apologize. Otherwise, the Ministry of Health will take all legal instruments in accordance with the Law on Civil Liability for Insulting and Defamation,” the Ministry said.
According to the answer we received from Stoilkovski, he is not planning to apologize.
– I sincerely regret that public healthcare and thus the health of citizens, as well as my own health and my family’s, is in the hands of the Minister of bloody grants and its directors who are giving money to their families’ companies. I further regret that these people, Filipce and Stavridis, are part of the public healthcare and part of the university clinics where they influence the future personnel who should really be in the service of the health of all citizens – said Stoilkovski.
Filipce was not the subject of such criticism in the time of rule of the previous government, as adviser to Nikola Todorov.
Earlier, the Ministry of Health asked the website “Lider” to withdraw the article entitled “Filipce, Vasev and Panovska in action: Awarded 24.6 million for the Dr. Panovski pharmacies without a tender, which they consider defamatory. Filipce explained that there was no mandate or connection to the procurement of each clinic separately.
“If this denial is not announced within the designated deadline, a procedure for determining liability and compensation of damages will be followed in accordance with Article 19, paragraph 1 of the Law on Civil Liability for Defamation, before the competent court determined by the law,” the Ministry said.
The director of the Hematology Clinic, Irina Panovska-Stavridis, joined the lawsuits. She was accused by VMRO-DPMNE that she, as the director, influenced for the Panovski pharmacy, owned by her father, to supply the Clinic with medication. In a letter in which she provides detailed information on the procurement of Hematology, she says she does not expect an apology from VMRO-DPMNE, yet she will initiate a court procedure.
Agriculture Minister Ljupco Nikolovski yesterday also announced defamation lawsuits against websites that are considered close to the opposition party. They accused that allegedly Nikolovski’s cousin was caught in an attempted smuggling. He called on the two websites to withdraw the articles and apologize, otherwise they will be hit with a defamation lawsuit.
The alleged scandals related to government officials published by VMRO-DPMNE are interpreted as part of the campaign before the referendum, aimed at the well-known tactics of creating fake news, as much as to defeat the opponent.
– Threatening with lawsuits that are part of the violence that is being carried out against political opponents are in vain, when the government lacks answers to the questions asked. Should criminal tenders, conflicts of interest, grants for officials, and temporary employments for corruptive purposes be kept silent and allowed during this period during the campaign? When and if VMRO-DPMNE will start a campaign will be announced to the public – said the spokesman of VMRO-DPMNE.
According to the Law, the apology, if there is one, should be announced within 48 hours from the day of delivery of the reaction.

Suncica Stojanovska Zoksimovska