Parliament to hold second vote on name agreement by next week

The Parliament has received the decision of President Gjorge Ivanov not to sign the decree for the promulgation of the Law ratifying the Final agreement for the settlement of the differences as described in the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 817 (1193) and 845 (1993), the termination of the Interim Accord of 1995, and the establishment of a strategic partnership between the parties.

Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi has 30 days from the passing of the law to put it for a second vote at a plenary session.

MIA learns that Speaker Xhaferi will schedule the session by the end of this week or in the course of next one, not waiting for the July 20 deadline.

The Parliament ratified the name agreement on June 20. In case of a presidential veto, the law goes back to the Parliament for a second vote, requiring an approval of least 61 our of 120 MPs. If endorsed, the law is again forwarded to the President, who is obliged by the Constitution to sign it.

However, President Ivanov could use the so-called “pocket veto” and fail to again sign the decree for the law’s promulgation, as was the case with the law on the use of languages.

The decision communicated to the media by the President’s Office lists the reasons for Ivanov’s failure to sign the decree.

“I have no mandate to sign the bill promulgating the law. One of the pillars of my election programme back in 2014 was to not accept a change of the Constitution towards changing the country’s constitutional name. I do not accept ideas or proposals that would endanger the Macedonian national identity, the individuality of the Macedonian nation, Macedonian language and the Macedonian model of coexistence. I was elected President based on this programme,” reads the decision.

According to Ivanov, the agreement goes beyond the scope of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 817 (1193) and 845 (1993), because they refer to “difference over the country’s name”, not “differences” as stated in the agreement.

“The agreement has no constitutional ground and is not ratified in compliance with the Constitution. Article 118 of the Constitution reads that international agreements ratified in line with the Constitution are part of the internal legal order,” he adds.

He further elaborates that the agreement does not comply with Articles 51, 118 and 119 of the Macedonian Constitution.

“The agreement brings Macedonia into a subordinate position to another country, namely the Republic of Greece. Article 308 of the Criminal Code reads that a citizen bringing the Republic of Macedonia into such a position shall be punished by a prison sentence of at least five years,” underlines Ivanov.