Counter spin: Ivanov’s pardoning speech is full of spins!

 

The President Gjorgje Ivanov’s pardoning decision and the announcement for future pardoning if needed, only added fuel to the flames and caused new whirl in the crisis, instead of reconciliation as he says. The thorough analysis of the president’s speech showed that almost every paragraph of his speech contains examples for reality spinning

 

Author: Teofil Blazhevski

 

When the President of the Republic of Macedonia, who is usually criticized about his inactivity regarding the crisis, delivers a speech or reaches a decision that causes a huge amount of public dissatisfaction and even deepens the crisis, then it deserves a special attention from all points of view. One possible point of view is the speech analysis and the decision explanation. Such analysis points out to the conclusion that Ivanov is using spun thesis, spun elements that are not part of the reality, as well as half-truths and speculations that he does not want to clarify.

 

Steel wool light painting

 

THE SPRINNING STARTS IN THE INTRODUCTION

Spin 1: The current situation in Macedonia is not our game. This is a foreign game. To illegally wiretap all high state representatives, journalists, media, diplomats, and then to put all that in the hands of one man and give him support to use all wiretapped material…

Counter spin: : No relevant public data, no data from the prosecutions’ investigations, nor in the only court sentence related to the affair, shows signs of “foreign game”. On the contrary, according to the last cognizance of the Special Public Prosecution Office, the wiretapping was conducted in Macedonia with the equipment of Administration for Security and Counter Intelligence (ASCI) at Ministry of Interior (MOI), which later, upon the order of persons appointed by the current government, has been destroyed with the aim to eliminate the traces.

Spin 2: This situation is of nobody’s interest here in Macedonia. This is somebody else’s interest. This crisis did not bring any good to anybody. Neither to the government, nor to the opposition, no matter the expectations… This crisis is somebody else’s interest. For somebody else’s interests and goals. Somebody who wants to achieve something. Somebody who wants to meet a goal via the warring politicians, political leaders and their supporters.

Counter spin: Again, we do not see any relevancy in what Ivanov is saying. First, “this situation” stems from the political crisis caused by politicians in Macedonia, especially by those in power, and is due to the delay in reaching the solution i.e. the implementation of the “Przhino Agreement”, but most of all due to the government’s obstructions in many segments, which are fairly documented in the public. Hence, the assertion that “this situation” originates from abroad is a spin, as well as the claim that this situation is not in compliance “nor with the government”… Apparently, having elections without the opposition and with the obstructions, especially of the SPPO, suits the government.

Spin 3: The politics has turned into a showdown of criminal charges, criminal proceedings, searches and detentions. A showdown of who is going to intimidate and hinder more. The judges are facing an unprecedented pressure. Representatives from the international community are strolling through our courts while the judges have to decide whether they are going to detain somebody or not. Couple of days ago, a judge was transferred to a hospital because he collapsed during a hearing.

Counter spin: The proposition what the political scene turned into completely shatters the thesis of “foreign interests”. The politics is run by the representatives chosen by the people, who form a government to lead the country, i.e. creates the policy. Next, if the judges face an unprecedented pressure, then why both the government and the judiciary continue with the assertions that the decisions regarding the stakeholders in the political crisis and the Special Public Prosecution Office (SPPO), are decisions of independent and unbiased judges and judicial councils. And what is the correlation with the judge who collapsed while hearing Gordana Jankulovska and the representatives of the international community that have been strolling through the courts?

Spin 4: The Parliament is dissolved. The opposition announced election boycott and creation of a front for freedom. This means that there will be obstacles to the elections. We have interim government with limited authority. We are on the verge of a crisis. This situation is immensely complicated and nobody can resolve it, neither the party leaders nor the representatives of the international community.

Counter spin: Republic of Macedonia is not on the verge of a crisis, yet is in deep crisis since 24 December 2012, when the opposition MPs were expelled from the Parliament. The situation is really “immensely complicated”, but the fact that neither the party leaders nor the representatives of the international community can resolve it, is truth spinning. There is (was) the “Przhino Agreement” which covers deadlines, government’s “urgent reform priorities”, with deadlines and other directions that show how to solve the crisis. On the other hand, the opposition’s decision for election boycott does not give the right to anybody to assert that “there will be obstacles to the elections”

Spin 5: There are months and years ahead of us in which the politicians, no matter who is in power and who is the opposition, are going to deal with serious and strategically important decisions for the country, the nation and the identity, and I don’t want to allow both the politicians in power and the opposition to make decisions while heavily burdened by the possibility to be blackmailed, to face threats upon their freedom, honor, name and future or any type of blackmail from other external or internal factor.

Counter spin: Those politicians who have perpetrated any kind of crime, especially electoral, must not ever deal with “serious and strategically important decisions for the country, the nation and the identity”. The pardoning of such crime-prone politicians is a criminal act itself and defies the state and the citizens’ interests. However, due to Ivanov’s decision, there is no possibility for court proceedings and the public cannot know which politicians have been fraudsters and criminals and which have not.

 

HE PARDONED THEM TO UNTIE THE KNOT!?

Spin 6: Due to these reasons I intend to contribute to the resolution of the crisis, to ease the relations and to diminish the tensions between the opposing political powers and their supporters… I decided to put an end to this agony in the Republic of Macedonia. Metaphorically, to untie the knot, in accordance with all my constitutional and legal authorizations, and via decision that is leading to general suspension of all legal proceedings between the politicians and their collaborators or supporters, from the opposing sides…

Counter spin: Even the experts have no doubts that by deciding to entirely suspend all proceedings (?!) Ivanov only made the crisis and the distrust even greater, that he demolished the faith in the functioning of the legal state and the principle of unselective justice, yet he aggravated the political crisis in the country. As a matter of fact, all of this was presented the same evening when the announced the decision.

Сите помилувања. Извор: Хелсиншки комитет.
All pardons. Source: Helsinki Committee.

Spin 7:  I was not led by the political affiliation, yet solely by the state and national interests… I am not led by my personal views, yet by the state interests.

Counter spin: At this moment, high priority state interest is to reveal the perpetrators of the wiretappings, to reveal the details regarding the vote rigging in several elections, and to reveal the details regarding the high level of corruption in the executive government. There is no higher priority for the Republic of Macedonia than the security of its citizens, which depends a great deal on the functioning of the legal state.

Spin 8: I wasn’t going into details whether somebody is innocent or guilty. I base my decision on the presumption of innocence. My assumption is that most of them are not guilty, regardless the investigations they are under, although I cannot verify that without any legal proceedings.

Counter spin: The pardoning is a constitutional right given to the President of the country in order to balance the law, justice and humanity in the society in individual cases which are usually specific. The President cannot make his decision based on assumption, especially not based on the assumption that “most of them are not guilty regardless the investigations they are under. He should know, and should be certain – he should not assume!

Spin 9:  Most of the suspended proceedings have occurred when criminal charges have only been filed against somebody, without any investigation or impeachments or hearings…

Counter spin: In the case of the criminal charges submitted by the opposition to the Public Prosecution Office, and in the cases of criminal charges filed by the Special Public Prosecution Office, we speak about around ten persons which are under investigation or have already been charged or even trialed.

Spin 10: The latest actions of some institutions, that should be strictly professional, leave the impression that resembles a political raid, thus if I sense the same in the future, I will act appropriately and I will do the same.

Counter spin: Albeit Ivanov’s sentence is not proofread, it is apparent that he is talking about the work of the SPPO. “Leave the impression that resembles a political raid”… and if he feels the same again, he will suspend proceedings again. Ivanov, as a President should not be led by “hunches” and “impressions”, but must possess solid evidence and facts. With this, even if he thought of the regular Public Prosecution Office and judiciary, he again interferes with their work and tells them “I can suspend your proceedings in the future, too”, and by doing so, he again degrades the legal system and the citizens’ security…

 

THE FOREIGNERS HOWEVER, TURNED OUT TO BE BENIGN

Spin 11: I am convinced that by making this decision, I also pave the way to mutual reconciliation… I am convinced that with this move I help the international mediators that have good and honorable intentions towards our country.

Counter spin: If the international mediators have good and honorable intentions, then whose is the “foreign game” and what are the intentions of the “foreign representatives that are strolling in the courts when the judges are collapsing” and which are those foreign conspiracies and scenarios that cannot be discussed with the public and the international representatives? It is highly incompatible to speak at the same time about foreign conspiracies on one hand and then to say that “the international mediators have good and honorable intentions towards our country” on the other.

Spin 12: Finally, as a conclusion: I cannot let this situation happen in Macedonia during my mandate. We as a generation must not let this happen. This situation in Macedonia is everything except politics, this is a greater game in which not only the Macedonians but also the others, the Albanians and everybody else, and not only the politicians, but also the academics, professors, doctors, intellectuals, businessmen are all blackmailed and are hostages of this situation. This crisis will end when everyone will no longer be a hostage of fear, personal revenge, wrath, hatred and segregations.

Counter spin: If this situation is a “greater game” in which not only the Macedonians but also the others, the Albanians and everybody else… are blackmailed and are hostages, then things just got very serious. In a case like this, the President of the Republic of Macedonia is obliged to immediately summon the Security Council chaired by him, to immediately summon the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, which according to the Constitution can meet irregularly and in situations of crisis, and to immediately announce to all citizens the type of threat Macedonia is dealing with.

Finally, it is worth to emphasize one sentence from the President’s speech, which according to our personal beliefs is highly valuable, and is not a spin at all:

If I have insulted somebody with this decision, or in any way I made him/her feel uncomfortable, I publicly apologize to them and I emphasize that I didn’t have a bad intention towards anybody.

There is a saying which is very popular in our environment and is related to Christianity, although we believe that it exists in the other religions as well: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions“.

 


This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.

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