The law on the use of languages is still wandering through procedural and political mazes, in relation to the presidential cabinet – parliament – “Official Gazette”, although the deadline in which the head of the state, Gjorge Ivanov, had to put a signature on the regulation adopted in the third reading. Nobody knows whether there is a legally valid formula for the Law that is part of the pre-contractual agreement between SDSM and DUI to be published and come into force without Ivanov on board, which would also fulfill the requirement for a possible initiative for assessing its constitutionality.
VMRO-DPMNE announced an appeal to the Constitutional Court, but it is currently unworkable because, according to expert interpretations, a law that has not been proclaimed and publicized in the “Official Gazette”, in fact, has not been adopted because it does not encourage legal action. However, the opposition party continues to encourage the head of state not to sign a regulation that was adopted on Wednesday last week, so it was due to be signed no later than March 21.
According to Article 38 of the Law on Parliament, the Parliament Speaker, on the same day after passing, submits the law to the President of the State for the signing of the decree. Within seven days from the day it is delivered to him, the president signs the decree for the proclamation of the law. This legal provision is considered to be general, because it does not indicate the stage of the procedure, while the Constitution states that the head of state is obliged to sign the decree if the law is passed for the second time with an absolute majority.
– If the head of the Official Gazette tries to publish the law on bilingualism without Ivanov’s signature, will consciously commit a crime “abuse of official position and authority” under Article 353 of the Criminal Code. This work does not expire in a year, two or three years so that it can be amnestied by Zoran Zaev’s judiciary. Given the gravity of the crime, a prison sentence of at least five years is envisaged, said Orce Gjorgjievski, a member of the Executive Committee of VMRO-DPMNE yesterday.
VMRO-DPMNE points out that the Macedonian judiciary already has a practice of acting in such cases. The Constitutional Court has in the past found that the double signature of the decree by one of the former presidents of the Assembly is unconstitutional.
“The Constitution and the laws are clear, Talat Xhaferi must not afford to sign the law on bilingualism at President Ivanov’s signature post. Even if Xhaferi signs the law at the post intended for the president, it will not be valid, because he cannot replace Ivanov when he is fully performing his function,” Gjorgjievski said.
As he assessed, the Law on languages is unconstitutional and completely inapplicable, and VMRO-DPMNE does not recognize it and will never recognize it.
SDSM reacts that VMRO-DPMNE hypocritically refers to the law that they once accepted it.
– No one is above the Constitution. Ivanov has a duty to sign.
VMRO-DPMNE should be able to force and overcome the policies of hypocrisy and false patriotism, because the entire public knows that the opposition party, in the hope of forming a government, has already accepted the Law on the Use of Languages,” reacted SDSM.
According to the ruling party, the Law on the Use of Languages is in accordance with the Constitution, that is, the amendment five which emerged from the 2001 Framework Agreement and promotes the use of all languages of non-majority communities.
Neither Ivanov, nor VMRO-DPMNE are above the Constitution and will not succeed in introducing new divisions in society. Macedonia chose to move forward as a society for all citizens”, emphasized SDSM.
Aleksandra M. Mitevska
Xhaferi has a legitimate reason for rejecting the amendments
In the past week, there have been more indications that the Law on Languages should be assessed by the Constitutional Court – in terms of its content and given the procedure under which it was adopted in the third reading, so that the hearing for nearly 36 thousands of amendments submitted by VMRO-DPMNE. On the other hand, Speaker Xhaferi, as an argument for rejecting the amendments, has Article 164 of the Parliament’s Rules of Procedures, according to which, in the third reading, the Assembly discusses and decides only on the members for which amendments have been submitted. In the course of the third reading, under this article of the Rules, amendments may only be made to the members to whom the amendments were adopted during the second reading. In the case of the Law on Languages, at the time of its initial adoption, no one of about 90 amendments was adopted, as the MPs submitted.
Regarding the composition of the Constitutional Court, the majority of the members (six out of nine) are from the time of VMRO-DPMNE’s rule, when there were many criticisms in the public for the bias of the majority of judges. However, the question is how constitutional judges would now act – in the new constellation of relations on the political scene after the change of power.
The remaining three constitutional judges were elected by parliament two or three months ago. Two of them were elected as representatives of the Albanian ethnic community – Osman Kadriu, on the proposal of President Gjorge Ivanov, and Naser Ajdari, as a proposal of the Parliamentary Commission on Elections and Appointments. The third new member of the Constitutional Court is Darko Kostadinovski, a longtime adviser to Ivanov.