Policies for the waste bin

Aleksandra M. Mitevska

The new leadership of VMRO-DPMNE obviously has a very lively imagination. It could not have remained unnoticed these days when the opposition party first managed to invent 35,000 amendments to only 19 articles from the law on the use of languages, and then the piquant story that some of those amendments were allegedly thrown into containers in the surroundings of parliament echoed in public. In an effort to strengthen their claim for the destroyed amendments, VMRO-DPMNE concluded “wisely” that the democracy in Macedonia, in the time of Zoran Zaev, ended up in the waste bin. With such a statement, in fact, only a politically naive audience could agree, which would believe that the documents submitted in the parliamentary archive, in a few copies, may disappear with no return. On the other hand, for those who are slightly more educated in the political-legal procedures, perhaps the more credible thesis is that the new forces at the top of the opposition party are beginning to pursue policies that need to end up in a waste bin as soon as possible before they too pollute the space around the “White palace” in the center of the capital.

Truth be told, although this was practically impossible, there would not have been much damage and if some of the opposition amendments really ended up in the waste bin. So at least the Parliament will save paper, the administration will save energy, and the goal set by VMRO-DPMNE, in any case, would be achieved. Because the Law on Languages, as well as the Parliament as a whole, would have been blocked whether there would be an amnesty hearing for 35,000, or, say, “only” 25,000 interventions in the disputed regulation. In fact, we have examples from recent history of parliamentary life in Macedonia, when in 2012 and then and now the ruling DUI managed to make a real circus with “only” fifteen thousand amendments to the Law on Defenders. And that circus lasted for days…
Therefore, the “operation” that has been conceived now by the new leadership of VMRO-DPMNE cannot but be experienced as a copy of those developments six years ago, in which the main actor was the current parliament speaker Talat Xhaferi – the same one elected in the dramatic evening on April 27 last year, which the opposition does not recognize. He, however, will now have to find a way to deal with a heap of paper on which VMRO-DPMNE wrote all the points, commas, synonyms and antonyms… which he called the amendment interventions of the regulation which the head of the state vetoed. All this is yet another proof of the absurdity of the tactics taken by VMRO-DPMNE when, for the third time in a month, decided to end an incidentally and purposeful two-month boycott of the legislature, following the principle of entry-exit, block-unblock, submit- withdraw…

Certainly for VMRO-DPMNE, as the largest opposition party, it is quite legitimate to challenge the law on the use of languages, which is part of the pre-contractual agreement between SDSM and DUI, and around which a lot of dust was raised even when it was announced, thus indirectly contributing to the “Bloody Thursday” in Parliament. It is also legitimate for VMRO-DPMNE to use all available mechanisms for challenging the content of the law and the procedures for its adoption. It is also legitimate for VMRO-DPMNE to use all available mechanisms for challenging the content of the law and the procedures for its adoption. But the real questions are: then why VMRO-DPMNE did not return to Parliament when the Law on Languages ​​was voted about two weeks ago; and why, about two months ago, the opposition party devised only eighty amendments to the controversial regulation, and now increase the number of interventions by 410 times. Is the non-inventiveness and weariness of the old party leadership, led by Nikola Gruevski, the reason for this, or the promotion of new policies announced by the new leader, Hristijan Mickoski. If it is the latter, then Mickovski’s political inexperience cannot be justified by the fact that VMRO-DPMNE is trying to lead the battle with political opponents through the devaluation of state institutions. The least that was expected from VMRO-DPMNE, in these key moments for the integration processes of the state, is to help the process of implementation of the reform process go more easily and quickly and provide consensus on key issues. Instead, the opposition party decided to continue the blockades – this time in a different way – with policies that are meant to end up in the waste bin.