In a tense and almost impossible atmosphere for voting, the parliamentary majority, with 64 votes in favor and none against and retiring, passed the law on the use of languages. The atmosphere in the legislature reached a boiling point at the moment when speaker Talat Xhaferi put the bill on the vote, with the former leader of VMRO-DPMNE and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski trying in every possible way to stop him. In order to avoid an incident, the security service of the Parliament had to intervene, after which the speaker safely left the plenary hall.
Minutes before the quarrel, the coordinator of the VMRO-DPMNE Parliamentary Group, Dragan Danev, demanded that the amendments submitted by the opposition be considered before the law can be voted on. He also asked the majority to convene a session of the Commission on Mandate-Immunity Issues to determine whether the law could be passed without considering the amendments or not.
After, again in a tense atmosphere, the parliamentary majority voted 20 laws, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi was repeatedly forced to give pauses to calm the passions. But after the breaks, VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs demanded procedural clarification and disabling the normal functioning of parliament. They occupied the rostrum, and Xhaferi did not allow him to speak. The opposition firmly stood by its position that this law is unconstitutional and is not good for interethnic relations in the country.
After the plenary session ended, a press conference was held by the Speaker of the Parliament, Talat Xhaferi. According to him, in no case the conflict situations in the legislature between the MPs should not be spilled out of the Parliament, refusing to comment on the behavior of VMRO-DPMNE MP Nikola Gruevski.
“The right of every citizen to protest is an explicit right and I have no gloom for the citizens who were before the Assembly. But the behavior of lawmakers is unacceptable, they seem unable to understand that they are in opposition. Every citizen has the right to protest in front of every institution, and in this respect I do not have any complaints. But the behavior of some of the MPs must not and cannot be perceived as a provocation for interethnic relations, “Xhaferi said.
Regarding the constitutionality of the adopted law on languages, Xhaferi said that the Constitutional Court should speak out and added that during the voting all parliamentary procedures were observed. Regarding the skipping of 35,000 amendments of VMRO-DPMNE, Speaker Xhaferi added that the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly enable submission of amendments, in this case in the third reading, only for the parts that were changed or supplemented in the second reading.
“Article 164, paragraph 2 of the Rules of Procedure explicitly explains about the fact that in the third reading, amendments can be submitted only in parts that were amended or supplemented by amendments in the second reading. Considering that the law in the second reading has not undergone any changes, the President of the Parliament has implemented Article 164, paragraph 2,” said Xhaferi, who added that as the first person in the Parliament will not allow a repeat of the events on April 27.
Earlier, before the start of the plenary session, several leaders of political parties gave statements. DUI leader Ali Ahmeti considered that all arguments for or against this law were worn out.
“The session is convened, the points on the agenda are known, and the arguments about this topic are worn-out,” Ahmeti said.
The leader of the Alliance for Albanians, Zijadin Sela, said that it was about time to pass this law.
“I am not part of the Government, I came here only to vote on the law according to the agreement reached right before the formation of the Government,” Sela said.