The ruling Social Democrat Union continues to hold consultations and talks in the party’s governing bodies on whether to go to early general elections. The voices “in favour” are getting louder, that is, to accept the request of the opposition on May 5, along with the second round of the presidential elections, to choose both MPs and government. Last week, the party was waiting for President Zoran Zaev to return from his winter vacation and make the final decision, which, however, is likely to be postponed again, as the prime minister will be attending the World Economic Forum starting tomorrow, which will be held in Davos, Switzerland and will last until Friday.
Justice Minister Renata Deskoska is the first SDSM official to accept going to early general election and confront the citizens without hesitation. She said that her position had been shared clearly and loudly in front of her party members as well, so it should not be kept secret from the public.
According to the information obtained by Nezavisen Vesnik/Independent newspaper, the president and the vice-president of SDSM, Zaev and Radmila Sekerinska, had meetings with their closest associates and asked for their thought on this subject. The “arguments” were that the invitation for NATO should be used after the finalization of the name agreement, as well as the support provided by Albanian voters after the publication of the Law on Languages in the Official Gazette. On the other hand, the advice of the international partners was taken into account, which are clear that at this moment that it is not necessary to waste time on elections when the country should urgently implement the reforms in order to receive the invitation to open negotiations for membership in the European Union. In the end, it was decided wait a few more days with a warning not to allow for another November 2005 to happen, when SDSM did not use the candidate status of Macedonia to join the EU, and next year suffered a defeat in the regular elections and did not return to power for more than ten years.
Their coalition partner in the government, DUI, continues to oppose early general elections, repeating the speeches of their friends from Brussels and Washington.
“From the party’s perspective, we have never had a better time for elections than now. But from a state perspective and the interest of the citizens – it’s not time for elections. We need to finalize the process with the constitutional changes, and in June we expect to start the negotiations with the EU, and the protocol for NATO membership should be signed as well. If we burden ourselves with the election process now, we are consciously compromising our strategic goals,” said Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Bujar Osmani.
Early elections are scheduled sixty days prior to holding, which mathematically means that there is still time for the Parliament to be dissolved. There are opinions that the early general elections would be held on May 5, that is, in the second round of electing the successor of Gjorgje Ivanov, which would provide the necessary turnout for the election of the head of state. In such a case, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi has time to schedule the election by March 5th.
Another problem that would arise, if the parties agree on early elections and delve into the decision, is the technical government demanded by the opposition under the Przino Agreement. It should be formed 100 days before the day of voting, but in political circles it is said that a common language between the government and the opposition would be found for a sixty-day interim government to organize the elections. It is mentioned that if they didn’t find the eight MPs to provide the required two-thirds majority on constitutional changes at the last moment, they would have accepted to go to early elections in order to meet the deadlines for the implementation of the agreement with Greece, with the government and the opposition discussing a technical government with a deadline of 45 to 60 days.
VMRO-DPMNE pointed out that they not only demand, but also insist on early general elections.
“If we see the statements of the government and if we really want to have an economic year in 2019, the only one that can allow this is VMRO-DPMNE, and that’s why we insist on early general elections along with the presidential, and they should be scheduled as soon as possible, because if we dissolve the Parliament by January 24th, then there will be enough time to organize early elections that will be held together with the presidential election,” said Igor Janusev, VMRO-DPMNE Secretary General.