Parties comment President Ivanov’s annual address

Ruling SDSM and its coalition partner DUI are criticizing President Gjorge Ivanov’s annual address in the Parliament, while for the opposition VMRO-DPMNE he presented own views about the developments in Macedonia in the course of 2017.

SDSM MP Frosina Remenski considers that the President missed the opportunity to distance himself from the rhetoric of divisions and conflicts, promoted by VMRO-DPMNE for the last few years.

He failed as Macedonia’s President to offer a slightest contribution to reconciliation in this vital year for restoring the democracy in the country, she said.

For the last ten years, she went further, Ivanov said nothing about the developments in the country – the then ruling party (VMRO-DPMNE) control over the public administration, politically-motivated court cases, persecution of political opponents, galloping corruption, environmental problems, 24 December 2012 incident in the Parliament, dubbed ‘Black Monday’ (when the then opposition SDSM MPs refusing to vote for the budget were forcibly removed from the parliament, along with the journalists) and the ordered attempts for murder in the Parliament this April.

Ivanov has marred the government’s efforts to advance the good-neighborly relations – one of the international community’s key criterion for strengthening the interethnic cohesion, Remenski said pointing out that he failed to perform as a president of all citizens of Macedonia.

For new VMRO-DPMNE leader Kristijan Mickoski, the President’s speech was comprehensive, reflecting his own opinion.

DUI MP Artan Grubi defined the President’s speech as an oxymoron. DUI has over 20 remarks to the speech, Grubi said, singling out the one related to a draft law on languages.

‘The bill wraps up the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, signed in 2001 by the four major political parties and the then president Boris Trajkovski. The draft derives from this agreement, the European Peace Institute’s analysis, and most important from the country’s constitution, Grubi said.

The President should contribute to the social cohesion, good interethnic and neighborly relations, Grubi said, adding that Ivanov’s comments about Macedonia’s neighbors, in particular about Kosovo, were scandalous and completely unacceptable for DUI MPs.

‘Ivanov should apologize for these comments,’ Grubi said.