Counter spin: The protest in Ohrid is VMRO-DPMNE’s “drill”

 

The protests in Ohrid against SPO can be understood as a “display drill” of the party that has many times directly threatened the integrity of each institution which is not under VMRO-DPMNE’s control

Author: Teofil Blazhevski

 

VMRO-DPMNE, the party that is still technically managing the executive branch of government, published a press release about the protest organized by its members and supporters in Ohrid, which we consider a spin:

Spin: SPO is a disgrace to the judiciary. To summon approximately 200 persons only because they are members of one political party means nothing else but a discrimination on political and ideological grounds.

SPO abolishes criminals such as Zaev and Verushevski, and threatens honest people whose only sin is their political and ideological orientation and because they have decided to donate to their own party. SPO must begin working lawfully.

[Source: ВМРО-ДПМНЕ, веб, date: 09 February 2017]

Kontraspin - foto Vistinomer

 

Counter spinVMRO-DPMNE published a press release on its website which says that the party supports its members that have been protesting for two days in Ohrid in front of the Police station against the Special Prosecution Office (SPO), which is leading a pre-investigation or investigation procedure concerning the funding of this political party. Additionally, VMRO-DPMNE has voiced certain negative assertions against the SPO, and has also stated that the party is not against this institution, but against its selectivity.

We consider all of this a spin, because it is completely clear that VMRO-DPMNE is at “war” with SPO for more than a year, which according to the party, would ended with fierce attacks on the SPO. This has been clearly stated in the past few months, and arises from VMRO-DPMNE’s press release, as well as the MP and a member of VMRO-DPMNE from Ohrid and participant in the protests, Sasho Vasilevski, who has clearly stated all of this as his future personal pledge in the Parliament of RM and who doesn’t approve SPO’s intention to interrogate everybody it believes it should, including him as a “parliamentarian”:

What’s the right of Katica Janeva to summon me as a parliamentarian, witness and probably as accused of my personal donations. I will fight in the Parliament to make SPO history, and we will nullify it because it doesn’t work as it is supposed to

 

THE SUSPECTED AND THE ACCUSED ACCUSE OF SELECTIVITY

The substance of the spin, the truth spinning regarding the SPO, generally lays in the fact that all investigations and indictments issued by the SPO so far in terms of possible crimes, whose indications have arisen from the wiretapped conversations, are against officials of VMRO-DPMNE and other persons, but are somehow related to the party as well. In fact, that’s the work and main task of the SPO – to listen to the materials and search for evidence. How can the party know whether the SPO’s prosecution team is selective or not?

Such conclusion cannot be drawn from the withdrawal of the indictment in the case of “Putsch”, though they do so, because SPO has the right to step back on the grounds of new evidence that doesn’t support the primary indictment issued by the Basic Prosecution Office (BPO). However, even in this case, SPO said that it does not prejudge somebody’s guilt or innocence.

If VMRO-DPMNE has other cognizance regarding crimes by the opposition party SDSM, it should publish them in the public, not only on YouTube. And if it has doubts that BPO or SPO won’t react after such publications in the public, then it could press charges, as SDSM did in 2015.

 

SPO IS NOT TO BE BLAMED FOR DISGRACE

On the other hand, the truth spinning or, rather, the spin, saying that “SPO is a disgrace to the judiciary” is most accurately proven by the relevant analyses of our legal and political system authored by all domestic or international institutions.

If there is formal concordance by the government and the Parliament that the European Commission’s Country Reports on the progress of the country in the reform processes during the European integration are being accepted, then it is clear that the Government led by Nikola Gruevski and currently by Emil Dimitriev, as well as by the Parliament whose majority of MPs were and are from VMRO-DPMNE, have accepted the assessment that the true disgrace to Macedonia is the current judiciary and prosecution system:

The situation has been backsliding since 2014 and achievements of the previous decade’s reform process have been undermined by recurrent political interference in the work of the judiciary. The authorities failed to demonstrate necessary political will to address effectively the underlying issues as identified in the ‘Urgent Reform Priorities’ (refers to the judiciary, our remark). The obstructions faced by the newly established Special Prosecutor have shown the need to address effectively the lack of independence of the judiciary and to prevent selective justice. (From EC’s Report for 2016, presented in Truthmeter)

Hence, it is completely clear that the party’s leader, Nikola Gruevski, has attitude different from the PM Nikola Gruevski or the MP Sasho Vasilevski, and other MPs from VMRO-DPMNE had different attitude in 2016 and even earlier than the one they have today in regard to these assessments and analyses by the European Union. During sessions of the government or the Parliament, they accept and adopt these assessments, but act differently as party officials.

Taking this into account and taking into account the fact that, according to the law, only the Council of Public Prosecutors is competent for the SPO, we assess that the section in VMRO-DPMNE’s press release regarding the SPO and the protests in Ohrid, which we analyzed above, is a spin.

The protest in Ohrid and the arguments stated by the party and members and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE can be understood as a “display drill” of the party that has directly threatened the integrity of each institution multiple times, unless it’s not under VMRO-DPMNE’s control. Such was the case with SEC, with the Constitutional court (First Item of VMRO-DPMNE’s Proclamation from 17 December 2016), such is the case with SPO, and there are also threats if SDSM manages to form the government with other political parties.

 


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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