Counter spin: Ivanov should not request, he should give

 

By laying the two conditions for entrusting the mandate to SDSM, the President of RM, Gjorge Ivanov, de facto clears the road to unofficial, quiet coup d’état, which should be ended by new elections, as VMRO-DPMNE and its leader Nikola Gruevski have already stated

Author: Teofil Blazhevski

 

On 1 February 2017, after the talks with the political parties about the entrusting of the mandate for the formation of the government, the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, gave the following statement, and we assess its most important parts as unprincipled and as a spin:

Spin:

After the consultations, I would like to inform you that the mandate for formation of the new government will be entrusted to the party or coalition that will inform and prove to me that has secured the majority in the Parliament. In other words – first a confirmation and proof of majority, and then the mandate for formation of the government, in compliance with the Article 90 from the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

…I request two key priorities from the ones who shall form the new government:

First, protection of the state interests of the Republic of Macedonia, which means preservation and strengthening of the state’s unitary character. Second, system reform after the crisis that will cover the subjects of Republic of Macedonia’s National Security System.

[Source: Претседател на РМ/веб, 01 February 2017]

Kontraspin - foto Vistinomer

Counter spin:

Some politicians, followed by the academia, experts, columnists and analysts have no doubts that with such interpretation of the Article 90 and with the clear intention arising just from logical reading of his words – not to entrust the mandate to the opposition party SDSM, the President Gjorge Ivanov violates the Constitution of RM.

This doesn’t mean anything else, but an introduction to a quiet, unofficial coup d’état via breach of the constitutional and legal order which is the base of the contemporary Macedonian republic as well as negligence of the constitutional principle that sovereignty arises from and belongs to the citizens. Here’s why.

 

IVANOV HAS NO RIGHT TO REQUEST, YET AN OBLIGATION TO GIVE

There are several things we can differentiate from all analyses by the academia and experts published so far.

First, it is completely clear that Article 90 is a bit obsolete with unprecise provisions that would cover any case in the Macedonian political practice and parliamentary democracy, but on the other hand, it is sufficient enough to clarify that it can be implemented in the spirit of what’s written if there is political will and if it isn’t arbitrarily interpreted, according to the political need.

Second, even if we take the interpretation of the professor Bajram Polozhani, former constitutional judge, as most accurate, that the Constitution was violated when Nikola Gruevski was entrusted with the mandate, without the President to even check, through political consultations of course, that VMRO-DPMNE cannot secure the majority in the Parliament. Polozhani’s interpretation is that Ivanov will continue violating the Constitution if he immediately, following the same logic, entrusts the mandate to Zoran Zaev. Even if this is the most accurate interpretation, although there are opposite opinions (professor Osman Kadriu, or professor Savo Klimovski – our remark), Ivanov still has a problem. And the problem is violation of the right of equality before the Constitution, or as the professor Mirjana Najchevska says, discrimination on political grounds:

By requesting proof of majority in the Parliament from the second party beforehand in order to entrust it with the mandate for formation of government, Ivanov actually applies a new rule. This is discrimination and Ivanov should be (immediately) impeached and dismissed as a President because of severe violation of the Constitution.

However, there is a third problem as well. It arises from the second condition laid by Ivanov, which de facto means that he voluntarily breaches his authority: the President REQUESTS from the party or coalition that will form majority to include two key priorities in its program!

According to the Constitution, it is completely clear that Ivanov has breached his authority, and as the former Minister of education, professor Nenad Novkovski, says he granted himself “tsar’s authority”. Petar Arsovski, an analyst, also for Deutsche Welle ironically says: “let’s hope that he won’t request notary statements, bills of exchange and blood types…”.

Out of all statements and assumptions, as well as the four parts of the Constitution – General, Parliament, Government, President, it is completely clear that there is nothing for Ivanov to REQUEST and CONDITION in regard to the new government’s program and platform – that’s Parliament’s work – but instead, he is obligated to ENTRUST the mandate for the formation of the new government to the one who shall secure 61 MPs in the Parliament.

 

POSSIBILITY FOR QUIET COUP D’ÉTAT

With such attitude, Ivanov de facto fulfils the political will of the party that nominated him for President, VMRO-DPMNE, which clearly stated, after Gruevski didn’t manage to form the government, that the mandate should not be entrusted, but there should be new elections. The logic in Ivanov’s sentences, who grants himself authority that doesn’t belong to him, leaves space for dilemmas and points out that he has no intention to entrust Zaev with the mandate.

Furthermore, he selects only one of Priebe’s reforms as priority, the reform of security services, and by doing so he repeats his negative attitude toward the Special Prosecution Office and he excludes it from the priorities.

Why do we say possible coup d’état? Because, by not entrusting the mandate, the entire constitutional and legal order in the country will be infringed and the sovereignty will be taken away from the citizens. The Parliament, where the sovereignty should be, is not formed yet. The government is interim, and taking into account that after the elections it is managed by VMRO-DPMNE and DUI, which could lead toward new mass protests. The protests, on the other hand, according to Ivanov’s party of origin, are characterized as “Soros-esque” and “by the pardoned criminal Zoran Zaev” and intent to “undermine our legal and constitutional system”, which “will be opposed by the people”…

In such conditions, the only functional body, institution with full capacity, is the President of the Republic of Macedonia. And he, pursuant to the Constitution, is also the Supreme Commander, although according to the Law on Defense and the Law on Service in the ARM, he shares his command with the government, i.e. the Minister of Defense and the Army’s General Staff.

If the public is dubious about Ivanov’s possibility to make such decision in case of bigger protests, let us remind that he has already proven that he is able to make decisions that are on the verge of the constitutional authority – the abolition, which later had to be annulled, and as he has stated, he had been thinking to mobilize the Army.

The first option was to act reactively. That meant to stand aside and wait until the situation in Macedonia escalates. I would have been forced to summon the Army to mollify the situation… Was I supposed to be a passive observer when there were chances of open clash between two opposed sides? Was I supposed to wait for bloodshed on the streets in order to summon the Army as a second instrument when crisis has already been declared? Was I supposed to let Macedonian to raise a hand against a Macedonian? (Ivanov – 22 June 2016)

As evident, we have it all here: estimations by Ivanov in the previously quoted speech that foreign intelligence services have been preparing a scenario for destabilization of the country through riots and “Putsch”, that there have been preparations for assassinations of leaders of political parties, such appropriate estimations by VMRO-DPMNE, announcements that “the people won’t allow” i.e. counter protests and counter rallies, announcements that the political situations has been dictated by EU and USA, quarrel between VMRO-DPMNE and the international community, intimidating people with federalization and division of the country through eventual new coalition between Zaev and the Albanian parties, etc…

The chances for prevention of such black scenario that would lead to new elections are slight. Some analysts doubt the capacities for its complete implementation, but the possible damage is undisputed. The public finds the avoidance of such black scenario only in SDSM and Zoran Zaev’s possibility of securing parliamentary majority, without even being entrusted with the mandate, thus they would pressure Ivanov to obey the Article 90 from the Constitution and to entrust the mandate. The chances are slight, but worth a try.

And out of the entire aforementioned argumentation, Ivanov statement regarding the analyzed part is an undisputed spin.

 


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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