Not even the latest statement by US Ambassador to the country, Kate Byrnes, who demanded for the capabilities of the SPO to be preserved and to support a strong and independent prosecutor’s office, didn’t get through to the opposition, which believe that this prosecution, such as it is, is compromised and ruined and cannot survive in any form. VMRO-DPMNE once again reiterates that it is only acceptable for the SPO to become part of the new Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime and corruption, but disagrees with the proposed election for the head, the head’s powers, and with the decision for the investigations opened by the SPO after the legal deadline of June 30, 2017, be continued under Vilma Ruskovska’s command.
“A compromise on Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s draft law is possible if he accepts our suggestions and proposals. As for the name of Vilma Ruskovska, who proved to be the executor of SDSM’s directives, we will not discuss her at all. As for who would be the new head of the new Prosecutor’s Office, we agree with Zaev that politicians should not determine the new head, but we can reach a compromise with the Government and then bring the proposal to the Public Prosecutors Council. The Council does not define it on its own, because the council too works under the directives of SDSM. The SPO is finished. Even Zaev know this and openly says it, and that is why he is incorporating it in the new prosecution”, said VMRO-DPMNE.
VMRO-DPMNE disagrees with automatically giving jobs to the SPO prosecutors in the new Prosecutor’s Office.
Although the newly appointed ambassador of the United States to the country does not say that the SPO should continue to function as it has done so far, it has sent a clear message that the Special Prosecutor’s Office should not be a project of the past.
“The U.S. are following current developments and support a strong, independent prosecution office, believing it is important to preserve the capabilities of the Special Prosecutor’s Office. That will send a signal to the citizens of North Macedonia and the international community that North Macedonia is fully committed to the rule of law moving forward. It is also an important benchmark for both EU and NATO accession. North Macedonia has been a strategic partner for a long time. For 25 years we have worked to support North Macedonia’s aspirations to join NATO and the EU as a stable, prosperous and inclusive democracy. And as in any democracy, it is absolutely critical that political leaders support the reforms that the people want. We will be a partner in that effort as we have been, and the United States will continue to be committed to working with all political parties, leaders and citizens throughout the country to promote a positive and constructive political dialogue. We are looking forward to having our Assistant Secretary Reeker come to the region this week, he will be in North Macedonia later this week, to meet with folks from across the political spectrum as well as citizens to head their views as well,” Byrnes said in her statement for Alsat M.
Reeker will also meet with VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski in the hope that the government and the opposition will reach a mutually acceptable solution to the law on Public Prosecution, on which October decision to start accession negotiations with the European Union could also depend. In order to pass this draft-law, the parliament needs a two-thirds majority, which the government does not currently have.
Burns arrived to the country a few weeks ago and already had a meeting with the leadership of VMRO-DPMNE. According to the “White Palace”, it was concluded that a key strategic interest for VMRO-DPMNE is the membership of the Republic of Macedonia in NATO and the European Union. Mickoski emphasized that for the opposition, the friendship between Macedonia and the United States is of particular importance, expressing hope that the cooperation during the Ambassador Byrnes’ term will be aimed at improving the strategic ties between the two countries.
The meeting was held two days before the scheduled leaders’ meeting, to which Mickoski canceled his participation after Prime Minister Zaev rejected his request for snap elections. Later on, PM Zaev canceled the leaders’ meeting that was to be attended by the Prime Minister and the leader of DUI, Ali Ahmeti and the leader of Alliance for Albanians, Zijadin Sela.