Macedonia’s MPs pass new law on anti-corruption commission

A bill on the prevention of corruption and conflict of interests was passed Monday in its first reading. 58 MPs voted in favor with 16 voting against.

The law regulates the two areas, corruption and conflict of interest, and it includes precise definitions of office-holder, family, close family members and friends as well as a definition of corruption risk.

The procedure for electing president and members of the anti-corruption commission will undergo changes as well as the body’s status, salaries of its members, etc. There will be changes in relation to the termination of the members’ terms and regarding their dismissal.

Macedonia doesn’t have an anti-corruption commission since March 2018 after its members resigned amid a scandal over their alleged lavish spending.

Elaborating the bill at the session, Deputy Justice Minister Oliver Ristovski said that the process to prepare and adopt a national strategy for prevention of corruption of conflict of interest will be changed. The decision-making process of the commission will be also subject to change.

“This kind of law is necessary, it opens the door for a public and transparent election of new members of the anti-corruption commission,” said Ristovski.

The opposition MPs criticized the bill saying the procedures for electing president and members of the commission would take a long time, which might result in the country having once again no anti-corruption commission during the presidential elections next year. It seems this government doesn’t want an anti-corruption commission to be formed, they claimed.