Parliament to hold session on Gruevski’s mandate on Thursday

The Parliament will hold Thursday a session over the motion for termination of the MP mandate of former prime minister Nikola Gruevski for the purpose of serving a two-year prison sentence over Special Prosecutor’s Office case ‘Tank’. The Parliament’s Committee on Rules of Procedures and Mandatory-Immunity Issues endorsed Wednesday the motion by majority of votes. VMRO-DPMNE MPs abandoned the session, claiming it is a political process not a legal one.

The motion refers to Article 59 of the Parliament’s Rules of Procedures, which states that the court delivering the judgment should inform the Parliament Speaker over an MP convicted of a crime or other punishable act that makes him/her unworthy of performing the MP office.

Termination of the mandate requires a two-thirds majority, with the outcome uncertain as the VMRO-DPMNE MPs will not vote in favor of the motion. In addition, most of the MPs within the independent group in Parliament have also said they would not support the motion. Former VMRO-DPMNE leader Gruevski is scheduled to report to prison by today. Gruevski has been sentenced to two years in prison regarding the procurement procedure of a new vehicle ‘Mercedes’ worth more than EUR 600,000., while former head of MoI’s public procurement department Gjoko Popovski to six and a half years in the same case. The Appellate Court rejected Gruevski’s appeal and confirmed his prison term, while Popovski’s sentence has been reduced to four and a half years. Former minister of interior Gordana Jankuloska, who was tried separately due to advanced pregnancy, was also sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of office.