VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski, made statements related to the Law on the Languages, that has been returned to the Parliament of the RM, which we deem inconsistent:
…Our position is rather clear, precise, concise and offers the solution for resolving this situation. As a state and as a Government, because they declare themselves as a reform Government, they have to prioritize the reforms. That’s what has to drive us in the future. That’s what has to be developed in this country… Notwithstanding, we offer a solution for resolving this imposed crisis. Let’s focus on the reforms, on what propels us forward, on what offers the citizens a life of better quality. That should be a priority of every politician in this country, because such fouls will occur again in every segment, as is actually customary in this country… Absolutely, we have proposed amendments in accordance with the procedures, these amendments have entered the parliamentary procedure, and we expect compliance with the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, we expect compliance with the laws, we expect compliance with the Constitution. As a party, we are committed solely to the respect of law and we shall not accept anything else.
[Source: VMRO-DPMNE’s website, date: 8 March 2018]
The statements of VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski, on the impending procedure for passing the Law on the Languages are inconsistent due to several reasons.
First and foremost, VMRO-DPMNE, as a party with the biggest parliamentary group in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, has the right, but also had the opportunity, to participate in the procedure on the aforesaid law, which they consider to be unconstitutional, discriminatory and deleterious to the citizens of the RM.
However, VMRO-DPMNE didn’t take part in all of the procedures, except in the first reading, which started in September 2017 with the discussion on the need for passing that law. The party didn’t follow through the second reading or amendment discussion in two parliamentary committees, regardless of the controversy of the discussions and the manner the sessions were led, especially by the MP Artan Grubi, because VMRO-DPMNE decided not to participate due to the party’s congress and solidarity with the detained MPs, although they had prepared 84 amendments.
Moreover, VMRO-DPMNE wasn’t present in the Parliament’s Hall on 11 January 2018, when the law was in the phase of third reading and passing. They boycotted the Parliament due to the detention of their parliamentarians suspected of participation in felonies perpetrated on 27 April 2017, and they had previously said that the Law is unacceptable for them.
After these events, the President of the RM, Gjorgje Ivanov, didn’t sign the law because, as he said, it was unconstitutional and consequently, it was returned to the Parliament. The Government stated the support of the same law, and according to the interpretation of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, the Law on the Languages is back on third reading.
Regardless of the different interpretation of the paragraphs in Article 164 of the Rules of Procedure, whether the right for proposing amendments exists or not, there is the fact is that VMRO-DPMNE proposed 35 thousand amendments and the fact that they don’t run away from the estimation that they do so deliberately in order to block the adoption of the law (although Mickoski denies, a high party functionary confessed that in a recent debate show). If the Parliament starts discussing the amendments, such session would last at least five or six months and the Parliament would be in gridlock, thus unable to pass other laws which are key for the implementation of EU’s reform requirements.
Herein lies Mickoski’s second inconsistency. If SDSM and DUI are in favor of the reforms, and VMRO-DPMNE has always been in favor of the reforms and better life of the citizens, there still is a solution – either drafting a new law or VMRO-DPMNE will manage to pull off a discussion for each amendment – Mickocki paraphrases.
Finally, Mickocki’s third inconsistency lies in the brief history of this law. Of course, the public remembers the whole “drama” regarding the so called Tirana Platform, the drafting of the law, the adjustments, VMRO-DPMNE’s waiting for response from DUI whether they will coalesce with them again in order to create parliamentary majority and so forth.
Multiple politicians and public figures made statements saying that in late January 2017, VMRO-DPMNE accepted the Law on the Languages as DUI’s offer and condition. Those statements were repeated several times and were unconvincingly contested even fewer number of times. The form and text of the aforementioned offer had been even more radical than the present law, according to Naser Ziberi. Back then, Nikola Gruevski was still the president and Hristijan Mickoski was high functionary of VMRO-DPMNE, who became party’s secretary general couple of months later. That function certainly provided him with this detail.
It is undisputable that the party and the new leadership have the right to change their mind. It is also undisputable that this law and the adoption procedure were surrounded by inconsistencies, but the most disputable thing was whether the EU flag is required so the law can be adopted, which shortens the discussion time in the committees and why some provisions or the entire law wasn’t previously delivered to the Venice Commission for evaluation.
Nevertheless, given the actual situation and the history of the law, we consider that the statement made by VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski, that they offer an “either-or” solution to the crisis and that at the same time they are strongly committed to implementing reforms in the country, is simply inconsistent.
- VMRO-DPMNE’s – Интегрален текст од… – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
- 24 Vesti – Расправа за законот за јазиците – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
- Kanal 5 – Амандманската расправа за законот за јазиците… – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
- MKD– Законот за јазиците изгласан во Собранието… – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
- Telma TV – Топ тема – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
- Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia – Деловник на Собранието на РМ – [Accessed on 09 March 2018]
Assessed by: Teo Blazhevski