The party which throws the accusations about “junta” almost became junta itself. Additionally, regarding the suspects detained on terrorism and jeopardy of the constitutional system charges, nobody in this phase has the right to say that they have been detained only because they love Macedonia and detest Zaev and SDSM…
VMRO-DPMNE asserted yesterday that the state is being ruled by a junta, and that the judiciary has unjustifiably detained a group of people because it is under pressure. These are the positions which we consider untruthful:
The junta is violating the laws and has captured the entire state. The government led by Zoran Zaev is using the judiciary to politically prosecute the different-minded.
The courts are under severe pressure. They don’t judge on the basis of the arguments, but under government dictate. Upon the order of the ruling junta, the Macedonian patriots and people who have contributed and are still contributing to the society have been framed in a case of terrorism.
The court unjustifiably detains actors, directors, artists, physicians, deputies and police officers only because they love their country and disagree with government’s and Zoran Zaev’s policies.
[Source: VMRO-DPMNE, website, date: 17 December 2017]
VMRO-DPMNE’s claims that the government is a junta and that the persons involved in the events on 27 April 2017 have been unjustifiably detained, are not new. Hence, their continuous repetition require assessment of their truthfulness.
First, lets take a look at the opposition party’s vocabulary used in the political battle. Although the terms and the vocabulary used represent the free will of the party and its lame-duck management (by the end of December, the party will have new leader and new bodies) that’s only one side of the coin. The other thing is whether those claims announced with that vocabulary are correct or not.
JUNTA REFERS TO POLICE, MILITARY…
The word “junta” is a peculiar Spanish word originating from the Latin word junctus… According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, this word means “a council or committee for political or governmental purposes”; “a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power”.
Further, in accordance with the Digital dictionary of the Macedonian language, the word “junta” is “a name for various political groups and state organizations in Spanish speaking countries – Spain and Latin America countries” or “highest body which holds power after a coup”.
At last, as stated in Wikipedia, the word “junta” is “referring to various military governments and other governing bodies, whereas “military junta” is just “one form of junta”.
Given the existing definitions, VMRO-DPMNE with this qualification says that the incumbent government came to power by coup d’état with the assistance of militant groups of some kind (the military, police, or paramilitary) and has been partially ruling Macedonia since 28 April, and completely since 31 May, when Zoran Zaev’s government was voted in.
VMRO-DPMNE i.e. its representatives enjoy the universal rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Macedonian Constitutions and laws, such as the right of freedom of speech and expression, but that’s one thing, whereas the truthfulness is completely another.
VMRO-DPMNE ALMOST BECAME JUNTA ITSELF
Multiple analyses conclude that VMRO-DPMNE was the one that attempted to carry out a coup on 27 April. Although it didn’t manage to form a majority in the Parliament from the snap general elections on 16 December 2016 until January 2017, this party had been refusing to hand power to the newly formed majority for months, by using bunch of legally suspicious and procedural tricks in the Parliament. At the same time, its leader and MPs were constantly saying that “traitors” had been wanting to come to power and were continually mentioning the so called Tirana Platform, which would have defaced and divided Macedonia and so on and so forth.
This kind of rhetoric lasted for months, but did not facilitate VMRO-DPMNE’s intention to regain power, because holding power when you don’t have parliamentary majority is not in conformity with the Constitution. And when all of this was thoroughlyy comprehended, especially after SDSM, DUI, BESA and the Alliance for the Albanians announced and decided to proclaim majority and elect the Speaker, VMRO-DPMNE’s MPs opened the Parliament’s doors, an event witnessed by the entire public thanks to TV and Parliament’s security cameras footages.
Afterward, the crowd stormed the Parliament and sheer violence erupted against SDSM’s and other parties’ MPs and in some cases it was clear that their lives are in jeopardy, as was the case with Zijadin Sela. This was later confirmed by the judiciary which qualified the events as attempted murder.
Because of the abovementioned, it can be assessed that the previous government of VMRO-DPMNE, or its divisions, made violent attempts to remain in power, and if they would have succeeded, then the word “junta” could’ve been freely applied to this party, especially because it was supported by parts of the police and paramilitary individuals and groups, the Prosecution Office suspects.
WHO CAN BE SO SURE THAT THE DETENTION IS UNJUSTIFIED?
In fact, here’s the connection with the second untruth in VMRO-DPMNE’s press release, which has bee repeated by party’s leaders for a while now.
Namely, people mentioned as unjustifiably detained – “actors, directors, artists, physicians, deputies and police officers only because they love their country and disagree with government’s and Zoran Zaev’s policies” – haven’t been detained because of who they are, but because they are under investigation led by the State Prosecution Office for Organized Crime and Corruption for the offence “terrorist threat to the constitutional system and security”. This investigation has been initiated after the preliminary investigation had ended, the State Prosecution Office announced on 28 November 2017.
Pursuant to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Macedonia, this offence contains elements seen by the public in the footages from 27 April, hence we quote the article 313 entirely:
A person who, with the intention of endangering the constitutional system or the security of the Republic of Macedonia, causes or seriously threatens to cause an explosion, fire, flood, or some other generally dangerous act or act of violence, creating a sense of insecurity or fear among the citizens, shall be punished with imprisonment of at least ten years.
Has the Court easily and unjustifiably accepted State Prosecution Office’s allegations for reasonable suspicion when it decided to order detention in this phase? We’ll know this after the evidence is presented upon which an indictment will or won’t be issued, and on that basis we’ll see whether the detainees will be tried or not. But, if investigation for such a serious offence is initiated, and if we take the seriousness of the 27 April events into account, then it’s completely clear that nobody can claim the detention as unjustified, constantly stressing that the detainees are actors, directors, physicians… as if they have been detained because of their profession.
Therefore, VMRO-DPMNE’s lame-duck leading figures can use words and claim whatever they please when they appear in public, but after Truthmeter’s checked the origin and meaning of the word “junta” as well as the claim that the detainees have been detained “only because they love their country and disagree with government’s and Zoran Zaev’s policies”, we can assess that the aforesaid claims are sheer untruth.
- VMRO-DPMNE – Хунтата ги стави во своја служба…– [Accessed on 18 December 2017]
- Digital dictionary of the Macedonian language – Хунта – [Accessed on 18 December 2017]
- Wikipedia – Junta – [Accessed on 18 December 2017]
- State Prosecution Office of the RM – Соопштение – [Accessed on 18 December 2017]
- Criminal Code of the RM – Член 313 – [Accessed on 18 December 2017]
Assessed by: Teofil Blazhevski