Prime Minister Zoran Zaev reiterated yet again that the upcoming parliamentary elections are likely to be held next October, or exactly one year from now. During a visit to the Markart factory in Veles, in response to a journalist’s question whether there would be early elections, Zaev replied affirmatively, stating that “early elections will take place at the end of October 2020, i.e. 45 days before the regularly scheduled elections.
However, next October already means holding regularly scheduled elections, given the constitutional deadlines for holding parliamentary elections, according to the dates of the last parliamentary elections and the constitution of the current parliament. According to Article 63 of the Constitution, elections for Members of Parliament shall be held within the last 90 days of the term of office of the previous Members of Parliament or within 60 days of the dissolution of the Assembly (for extraordinary elections).
The last parliamentary elections were held on December 11, 2016, and the constituent session of this Assembly began on December 30, 2016, when the mandates of the newly elected Members of Parliament were verified, which began their four-year mandate. Another thing is that until April 27, 2017, the Assembly has been dysfunctional due to the obstruction of the election of the new Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi.
As the term of office of this composition of Members of Parliament began on December 30, 2016, then the in beginning of next October the deadlines for holding regular elections will kick off. On the other hand, if elections are held at the end of October, as Zaev announces now, that means 100 days earlier, which in this case would mean mid-July 2020, a technical government would have to be formed, with another prime minister nominated by SDSM and with ministers of interior and labor and social politics from the ranks of VMRO-DPMNE, which will take and to appoint additional deputy ministers in the ministries of finance, agriculture and information society.
VMRO-DPMNE spokesperson Naum Stoilkovski, commenting yesterday on Zaev’s statement that early elections will be held 45 days before the date for holding regular elections, said the prime minister should first check whether those 45 days are entering the deadline of what should be regular elections.
– If Zaev believes that he has a good rating, I believe that he would not mind organizing early parliamentary elections. But one thing is certain: Zaev and his false policies are going to lose. Here are the testimonies we heard, there are no 300 pilots in Aracinovo, no sewage in Aracinovo, and we are already entering an election year. Zaev has nothing else to boast about except the projects and what VMRO-DPMNE has done and left behind – said Stoilkovski, commenting on the visit to Veles factory.
The topic of early elections has been re-emerging in the recent period due to the constant demands of VMRO-DPMNE, but also due to the intensified campaigns of the two largest parties in the field and among the citizens. The opposition is now picking March next year as a preferred term for snap elections. SDSM, meanwhile, while announcing that this ruling set plans to “spend” its entire term, unofficially leaves room for a sooner dissolution of parliament – perhaps even spring, to validate the expected decision to start EU accession negotiations and full membership in NATO. In this context is also the announcement of a possible prolongation of the population census planned for next April.
Commenting yesterday on SDSM’s “On the right track” campaign, which has raised suspicions of early elections, the prime minister stressed that the ruling party aimed to show each day, week and month what the benefits of NATO and NATO membership were for the economy, growth and new job openings.
– Hopes for final decisions on strategic goals for the country will be fulfilled now – in mid-October and December-January or February, depending on Spain’s decision on NATO – Zaev said.
He clarified that countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia or Romania, when joining NATO and opening the EU negotiation process, were literally living a “honeymoon”, which he said was not repeated.
– This is a period that we cannot expect to be seriously repeated in the future and these are the reasons why we believe that regular elections should be held – Zaev emphasized.
He said the ongoing campaign is to finalize the government’s two-year activities, bring serious success to the citizens and open debate on it.
– Lighted up in the coming period, we want to learn from the citizens and to see the weaknesses and strengths, satisfaction and dissatisfaction and to be able to talk and definitely confirm that this is really the right path to take – Zaev said , pointing out that the SDSM campaign is time-limited – right this fall and should end before the New Year holidays.
As for the re-branding of his party SDSM, he pointed out that it was in order to definitely change the party, modernize it and help the state and the citizens.
Asked why the party chose the color red, Zaev answered that it is “our Macedonian color”, as our flag, but also the color of the Social Democratic parties in Europe.