Returning the concept of a transitional government that was agreed in Przino – at the height of the political crisis of the state. This is basically one of the demands set by the opposition as a condition for unblocking the election of the new composition of the SEC, in addition to the amendments to the Law on Party Financing.
Although there are still two and a half years to the regular parliamentary election, and it is currently more urgent to prepare the grounds for the upcoming referendum on the name, and then for the presidential election in the spring, VMRO-DPMNE now emphasizes the requirement for amendments to the Law on Government as a bigger priority than completing the SEC. Asked why this topic is currently opening up, when parties have been in talks for several months in working groups to amend the election regulations, a senior party official says it is a “preventative measure” in case the ruling majority decides to go to extraordinary election together with the referendum, in order to achieve a greater turnout and reach the referendum threshold.
Accordingly, what was unacceptable to the former VMRO-DPMNE leadership during the negotiations in Przino, suddenly became a priority for the new party top. Now the opposition party, according to the information, wants to return the Princess model of government in the legislation – with two ministers and three deputies from the ranks of the opposition. This model became part of the Law on Government before the parliamentary election in 2016, but as an interim solution – only for that election cycle, because VMRO-DPMNE was against, unlike SDSM, which insisted in the pre-election to have control over several departments associated with the election.
Now the situation is reversed: VMRO-DPMNE seeks a solution that it rejected in 2015, and SDSM, according to the information, believes that there is no need for such a type of transitional government, since the deep political crisis that culminated with publication of “political bombs” is over.
The talks in Przino on the subject ended with introduced the provision according to which the Prime Minister of the political government withdrew from office 100 days before the election in the Law on Government, as a systemic solution for future cycles of parliamentary elections. Subsequently, his party nominates a technical prime minister to carry out the election process. Gruevski was actually the first prime minister who left “Ilindenska” under such circumstances, giving way to Emil Dimitriev. If some legal changes are not made in the next period, the incumbent Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will have to do the same when the time comes for parliamentary election. Therefore, the provision according to which the opposition proposes ministers of internal affairs and labor and social politics and deputies with a veto right in the fields of finance, agriculture and information society and administration in the technical government.
VMRO-DPMNE’s leader Hristijan Mickoski, on several occasions in recent months, demanded early parliamentary election, but on one occasion indicated that the election should be held together with the presidential – next year in April. On the contrary, the ruling SDSM does not completely reject the possibility of early election, even in a package with the referendum, although their initial commitment is this time to go to a regular election – towards the end of 2020.
With the blockade of the SEC election, it is impossible to begin preparations for the referendum on the name that should be announced by the end of this month so that it can be held at the end of September or early October. However, the constitutional changes depend on the referendum results on the agreement with Greece, which should end by the end of the day, and then Macedonia’s official membership into NATO can be formalized.
Although Mickoski favored the return of the SEC’s old concept (only with party representatives and president from the opposition), which was applied until the signing of the Przino agreement, VMRO-DPMNE now disables the new composition in the parliament according to the old model. VMRO-DPMNE seeks to prioritize the financing of political parties and amend the Law on the Government, although these issues are part of a package of fundamental changes in election regulations, for which the parties negotiate in working groups and which should be adopted after the transitional structure of the SEC was elected – with a mandate of only six months. SDSM came out recently with claims that the VMRO-DPMNE conditioned the election of the SEC with the intention to push for amnesty not only for the events on April 27 2017, but also for the cases that arose from the “bombs”.
In contrast, Ilija Dimovski of VMRO-DPMNE, who is the president of the Commission for Elections and Appointments, said yesterday that the April 27 amnesty was not a requirement for the election of the SEC. According to him, political parties need to comply with the completion of the Commission, because the procedure is complicated.
-In the end, the Parliament should elect the composition of the SEC by a two-thirds majority. If there is no compliance, and a plenary session is convened, this procedure will be fail, said Dimovski.
Macedonia has been without an election commission since December 2017, when almost all members of this body, which were selected according to the Przino model, resigned due to the scandal with the high fees for the last election cycles. Some time ago, the “absence” of the SEC was the reason why SDSM MP Petar Arsovski was not elected Deputy Minister of Education – because his seat in parliament cannot be filled. At the moment, the biggest problem is that there is no one to begin preparations for the implementation of the upcoming referendum. If the selection process of the Commission is delayed, there will be no one else to conduct elections – in the event of a need for extraordinary voting.
Aleksandra M. Mitevska