The Parliament is likely to re-send the laws by the end of this week to President Gjorge Ivanov, which he returned to Parliament when he decided not to sign them due to the use of the country’s new name. If Ivanov leaves the laws in the drawer even after they are re-voted at the assembly session that starts tomorrow, then, according to Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi’s announcements, then the Parliament will wait for the new president’s signature, since the incumbent head of state leaves office of May 12.
– The Assembly will fulfill its obligation to decide again on the laws within 30 days from the day of their return to Parliament. If Ivanov once again refuses to sign them, we will wait for the new president to be elected in and sign the decrees before the laws are published in the “Official Gazette”. If we could wait for a year for the Law on the Use of Languages, we can wait for Ivanov’s term to expire for these laws, Xhaferi told Nezavisen Vesnik/Independent daily newspaper.
He says he expects the laws that Ivanov vetoed to be re-voted with at least 61 votes and without debate, since Ivanov did not enter into remarks on the text and specific members, but rather with a general formulation that in the solemn declaration he promised that it will always protect the interests of the Republic of Macedonia.
Asked what would happen if the required turnout of 40 percent in the second round of the presidential elections is not reached, that is, a new president is not elected, Xhaferi said that there were appropriate procedures in such a situation. In other words, in such a case, Xhaferi should put two signatures – both as president of the Assembly and as acting President of the country. In this context, Xhaferi pointed out that Macedonia already has experience in such situations, since, after the assassination attempt of President Kiro Gligorov, Stojan Andov was acting president of the state for some time, as was the case with Ljupco Jordanovski after the plane crash that killed President Boris Trajkovski.
Two new plenary sessions are scheduled for tomorrow. On the agenda of the 93rd session, there are 21 new laws currently in force, among which several are marked with a European flag, as well as amendments to the laws on the government and the organization of the state administration bodies, which foresees the abolition of the Secretariat for the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the establishment of a new ministry for the political system. After Members of Parliament pass these regulations, they should be sent to Ivanov’s office, who, in turn, should sign them or return them to Parliament within seven days. If he sends them back, as expected, then Xhaferi said he will probably have to schedule a new parliamentary session in order to re-run these laws in April, given the provided deadline of 30 days. Although this would mean scheduling parliament sessions in the middle of an election campaign, Xhaferi explained that this is not a problem because there were no legal restrictions that the legislature must not work during elections, but that it is a practice that the rostrum should not be used for political marketing.
The laws, which Ivanov has already returned to the MPs, are placed on the agenda of the 94th plenary session, which also begins tomorrow, but two hours later.
Among the items on the agenda are the ratification of an agreement between Macedonia and Romania on cooperation in the field of culture and education, changes in the Law on OTA, amendments to the Law on Service in the ARM, the Law on Energy, etc.
Ivanov did not sign three reform laws in the area of judiciary that were adopted by a two-thirds majority and with the participation of the opposition. But they will be published in the “Official Gazette” even without his signature, since the Constitution does not provide for the possibility of a presidential veto for laws that were adopted by a two-thirds majority. The same principle would apply to the Public Prosecution Act, which also defines the future status of the SPO, but which cannot be put in parliamentary procedure because there is no agreement between the ruling political parties and the opposition, although it is a regulation that now depends on the beginning of Macedonia’s accession talks with the EU. Xhaferi told Nezavisen Vesnik yesterday that if tomorrow there is an agreement between the parties and if the government releases the law on the prosecution in a parliamentary procedure, then it will be put on the agenda of one of the new sessions that begin on Wednesday. If not, the option to discuss this law after the election campaign has not been excluded.