Counter spin: Zaev or Gruevski – who holds Macedonia hostage?

 

It’s interesting how Gruevski averts his own and his party’s role and considers the opposition i.e. Zaev as the culprit of the situation the society is in! Although, far more interesting for observation, for instance, is how the former Prime Minister has been exercising power in the past decade, how he has been fulfilling the competences he has had according to the Constitution, what are the democratic freedoms and rights of citizens, situation in media…

 

Author: Olivera Vojnovska

 

During the rally in Veles, that took place on 28 November 2016, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader Nikola Gruevski and carrier of the candidate slate in the fourth constituency, among other, said:

Spin: For two and a half years, Macedonia is being held hostage by Zoran Zaev, but now it’s the time to be set free. They received everything they requested to reach these elections – Ministers, deputies, another Prime Minister, domination in the State Election Commission, their condition was to have the Minister of Interior, they requested SPO, there, they have Special Prosecution Office for a year now, they requested bunch of other things and thought we won’t accept them so they can hold Macedonia hostage for eternity. But, we accepted everything because we believe in our people.

 [Source: Курир, Date: 28 November 2016]

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Counter spin: Speaking in front of the citizens of Veles, the former Prime Minister, who had been a head of government for ten years (from July 2006 until January 2016), spun the truth and accused the opposition of the current occurrences in the country. So, while swapping theses, he pointed his finger towards SDSM’s leader, Zoran Zaev, accusing him that “for two and a half years, Macedonia is being held hostage”.

The thesis that Zaev is holding Macedonia hostage isn’t new, but the ruling party is pushing it through for quite a long time, and now it is recycling it in the run up to the elections scheduled for December 11. It’s just that Gruevski does not explain how Zaev backslides the country and stops its progress in times when VMRO-DPMNE has been in power for more than ten years and has the three key state functions: President of the country (from 2009 onward), Parliament’s Speaker and the Prime Minister, then the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Interior (until November 2015) as well as the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence, under control.

It’s interesting how Gruevski averts his own and his party’s role and considers the opposition i.e. Zaev as the culprit of the situation the society is in! Although, far more interesting for observation, for instance, is how the former Prime Minister has been exercising power in the past decade, how he has been fulfilling the competences he has had according to the Constitution, what are the democratic freedoms and rights of citizens, situation in media… Because, both according to the Constitution and sound logic, the influence of Gruevski and his party on the impasse the country is in, is undisputed. In other words, responsibility has to be addressed to them. One who has all levers of power and pulls all the strings cannot, now after ten years, minimize his own role, take the load off his mind and transfer it to the opposition and to look for culprits in the NGO sector, intellectuals and every critically tuned thought…

 

HOLDING THE TONGUE

Moreover, during his speech, Gruevski, without mentioning the reasons that led to the snap parliamentary elections (and this isn’t his first time), is spinning that SDSM received everything they requested, emphasizing that the “EVERYTHING” are the Special Prosecution Office and domination in the State Election Commission, which is not true.

The former Prime Minister and leader of the ruling party held his tongue about the mega wiretapping scandal, which was unveiled by Zaev in February 2015, when the public found out that more than 20.000 citizens had been illegally wiretapped. During this mass wiretapping, according to the social democrats, almost all politicians from the government and the opposition, except Gruevski and his cousin (whose phones hadn’t been wiretapped, but we hear them in conversations with other people), then judges, academia, businessmen, media, religious communities etc. had been the wiretapping “target”. This affair actually culminated the political crisis in the country, and in order to be solved, the Pržino Agreement was signed in June 2015. This document, guaranteed by the international community, was signed by the leaders of the four political parties (VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, DUI and DPA) – Gruevski, Zaev, Ali Ahmeti and Menduh Tachi. And, one of the obligations arising from this Agreement is precisely the formation of the Special Prosecution Office and as a result of the consensus reached by all document signatories, on 15 September 2015, the Parliament unanimously, with 108 votes “in favor” (including the votes of VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs), elected Katica Janeva as a special prosecutor for prosecuting criminal offences related and arising from the content of the illegal monitoring of communications. Therefore, “prattling” of replies such as: “SDSM requested and received the SPO and there, they have special prosecution office for a year now” serves solely to feed the spinners’ story that the “SPO is opposition’s extension”.

Let us remind that on 16 September 2015, the Parliament, with 102 votes “in favor” without “abstain” and “against” votes, elected the members of the State Election Commission (SEC). SEC has nine members, six are party members – both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE have two representatives, DUI and DPA have one each, as well as three experts – Commission’s president and vice-president, and one more expert. Hence, the assertion that SDSM has “domination in SEC” is pure untruth, placed purposely and aims to spin and create skewed perception that the central body for implementation of elections is under SDSM’s control.

 


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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