International community: Current deadlock to be settled in Parliament, not in early elections

It’s been almost a week after Macedonia voted in the name referendum. NATO accession and EU integration remains a priority neither the government nor the numerous international official will give up on. Macedonia, they say, doesn’t need early elections, what the country needs to do is to implement the Prespa Agreement by securing a 2/3 majority in Parliament.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn has already reiterated that there is no need for early parliamentary elections in Macedonia, instead the opportunity should be used in securing a two-thirds majority in Parliament that would implement the Agreement with Greece. Hahn told the Austrian daily Kurier that he has already conveyed this message to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

“New elections will only delay the way to start the EU accession talks with FYROM, which is planned for the summer 2019,” Hahn noted.

In regard to the referendum, Hahn noted that it cannot be said that it was unsuccessful.

“It is unusual for a referendum to be supported by 94 per cent of voters, but only 36.8 per cent to come out and vote, and because the opposition was apparently successful in the boycotting the referendum,” Hahn said.

He said he believed that that a two-third majority can be mustered in Parliament.

“Eight or nine votes from the opposition are necessary and this must be done. Everyone says they want to join EU and NATO, including the opposition, and then simply you have to pay the price of this solution. It is about a solution that is in the interest of the country, and not in the interest to political parties and politicians. And in this case how votes can be secured? I believe that it can be done with combination of Balkan and rational solution,” Hahn concluded.

As Skopje yesterday hosted the second Macedonian-German forum “Building Bridges – Politics and Economy”, two more messages were conveyed for the government and the opposition to make efforts to find a solution that doesn’t involve snap polls.

“At the moment Macedonia is in a very decisive period following the referendum held last week. A decision on the future of the country should be made, in the long run. The time has come when the opposition and the government need to work together to find a common political solution, member of the German Bundestag Thorsten Frei said Friday in Skopje.

According to him, a decision on the future of the country should be made now and it is the right moment for the opposition and the government to try and find a common political solution.

“It is not about bribing MPs, but it is about doing what’s best for the state. In my opinion, I believe that the government and the opposition should jointly find a good solution for country’s benefit,” Frei told Macedonian politicians in Skopje.

In his first interview after the referendum, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev reiterated that the riling coalition didn’t want early elections. “But, ff the opposition makes attempts to obstruct Macedonia’s future within the EU and NATO for personal calculations, the ruling coalition will be forced to call for snap elections,” he told BHTV1.

“We will do our best to ensure the necessary parliamentary majority for the constitutional amendments. However, if the opposition is trying to obstruct the future of Macedonia for personal interests the elections are inevitable,’ Zaev says, voicing belief that the process will grant him a two-third majority as ’80 percent of citizens support the country’s European future.’

I am certain that the opposition also favors the country’s accession to the EU, but the political calculations makes it to do what it has been doing.

‘Even the opposition leader, who boycotted the referendum, will say ‘yes’ to EU, NATO if you ask him and I believe it to be true. But he wishes for his party to return to power and with such aspiration he jeopardizes the future of our country, Zaev says.

Macedonia’s future is at stake and everybody bears grand responsibility for this matter, which ‘is above me, above the opposition leader, above political parties.’