VMRO-DPMNE is still considering ways to act during the re-vote for stripping Nikola Gruevski of his MP mandate because he has been inexcusably absent from work for more than six months. The new chance that the main opposition party has been given to turn away from the former prime minister’s legacy will be carefully considered in the so-called “White Palace”.
“Let’s wait for the the session to be scheduled first, and then we will have coordination with the parliamentary group and the leadership of the party, so we can make a final decision,” says Nikola Micevski, coordinator of the VMRO-DPMNE Parliamentary Group.
There are considerations within the party that Gruevski’s mandate, if seen from a legal point of view, should be stripped, but on the other hand, they believe that the government defocuses the discussion over real problems, and they are convinced that the verdict against Gruevski for the procurement of the luxury Mercedes car for the needs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is just a political persecution, which was the former prime minister’s main excuse for fleeing to Hungary.
Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi sent a letter to the Committee on Rules of Procedure and immunity related issues on Thursday Gruevski has had unexcused absences from Parliament sessions for more than six months.
According to the Rules of Procedure, the Committee has a deadline of 15 days to submit a motion for revocation of the mandate from the day of receiving the notification from the parliamentary speaker. Committee chairman Pavle Bogoevski confirmed that the session will take place on Monday. On the proposal of the Commission, the Parliament is conducting a search on the first following session, and in order to deprive Gruevski of his MP mandate, 80 MPs should vote ‘in favor’.
What gives a new moment to the whole case is that Bogoevski is now hit by the latest wiretapped conversation, so-called “bomb”, which is why VMRO-DPMNE plans to demand his political responsibility.
“We will wait a day or two to see if, and how, the institutions will do their job,” Micevski says.
This will be the second attempt of deprive fugitive Gruevski of receiving money in the name of a parliamentary salary from citizens’ pockets. In November last year, several days after the escape to Hungary, the Parliament did not deprive him of his mandate. On the Committee’s proposal, which concluded that with a two-year prison term for the purchase of the expensive Mercedes, he was not honorable to serve as a Member of Parliament, 58 MPs voted, of which 27 MPs were opposed to it.
After Gruevski left his post as leader of VMRO-DPMNE, where he was proclaimed honorary president, the party never publicly distanced itself from his policies, although they generally speak of “our mistakes in governing, and for that we were punished.” The party’s new president, Hristijan Mickoski, assures that he has no contact with Gruevski and that he has in no way influenced the policies of the party.
The reform and factional wing of VMRO-DPMNE, as well as part of the public, tell the leadership of the party that it cannot return to power, that is, to win the votes of the neutral, even the Albanian citizens, until it distance itself from the governing style and manners which the Gruevski-Mijalkov cousins used. Saso mijalkov has already been expelled from the party under the excuse that he helped convincing MPs into voting in favor of the name agreement. Gruevski, on the other hand, is still a topic that VMRO-DPMNE would gladly avoid discussing.