Xhaferi: Constitutional changes will be completed by mid-January

Macedonia’s Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi believes the constitutional changes from the Prespa Agreement will be completed by mid-January. Xhaferi says the law ratifying the agreement and the law on languages could then be forwarded c for publishing to the Official Gazette without the signature of President  Ivanov.

“The session on the constitutional revision is scheduled for January 9. We expect the procedure to be completed by January 15 with the amendments’ endorsement. Taking into consideration prior discussions, the session should not last more than 5-6 days, but since the opposition has said it would not attend, the debate could finish earlier. In any case, the issue should be closed by mid-January, which opens the path of forwarding the two laws in the Official Gazette,” Speaker Xhaferi told reporters.

As for Ivanov’s refusal to sign the laws, Xhaferi says the President is obliged to do so because the Parliament’s will cannot be hindered.

“I will send the laws to the Official Gazette with my signature. Namely, it is a decision that has been taken,” adds Xhaferi.

Replying about the idea of electing the President in Parliament, he says this is an option that requires opening of the Constitution.

“Some parties are vocal in their positions, but such an idea requires a new procedure of constitutional revision. For the time being, the presidential elections remain in place,” said Speaker Xhaferi.