Xhaferi: I will never allow a repeat of incidents in Parliament

Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said he won’t allow incidents in Parliament to happen like the ones on 24 December 2012 and 27 April 2017 following the enactment of the Law on Languages that extends the use of Albanian language across Macedonia.

The law was adopted on Wednesday amid disapproval on part of the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.

Speaker Xhaferi never launched a debate on the 35,000+ amendments, he went straight to voting of the law.

“Since day one as President of the Assembly, I have been aware of the challenges I will face. I’m saying it now, and I have said it before – I will never allow during my term the incidents of 24 December 2012 and 27 April 2017 to happen,” he urged.

Speaking to  the media after the adoption of the language law, Xhaferi said the main competence of the Parliament is to conduct a legislative procedure in compliance with the Constitution and the Rules of Procedures.

Asked about the possibility of the law being disputed, he stated that that Constitutional Court is the only institution having the competence to rule if it is constitutional or unconstitutional.

The law was passed by 64 votes in favor versus none against or in abstention. 24 votes were submitted by lawmakers from non-majority communities.

The 24 MPs had to vote by raising their hands after ex-PM and current MP Nikola Gruevski spilled water over the electronic voting system leaving it deactivated.

When asked, Speaker Xhaferi stated that he felt no need to comment on Gruevski’s behavior.

As regards the protest taking place in front of the Parliament, he said the citizens have the right to protest.

“All citizens have the right to protest, and in this respect, i.e. the citizens gathered outside Parliament, I have no objection to that. But, the behavior of some of the MPs shouldn’t be considered a provocation to inter-ethnic relations in the country, it is a mere reaction of those who still cannot come to terms that they are the opposition now,” the Speaker noted.