On the press conference after the coordination of the parliamentary party groups on 23 March 2017, SDSM’s Secretary-General, Oliver Spasovski, announced that a concord about the composition of the Committee on Elections and Appointments and its president has been reached. Spasovski then, inter alia, said:
Though there was one demand in the series of unreasonable demands submitted by VMRO-DPMNE, we accepted VMRO-DPMNE’s member to be Committee’s president, with the intent to unblock the processes in the Republic of Macedonia thereby allowing the democratic tendencies to start functioning, so neither the citizens nor the legislative body won’t be hostages of any politician or political party in Macedonia anymore. By doing so, we want to put the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia in function as the highest representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.
[Source: SDSM’s web site, date: 23 March 2017]
We consider this position of SDSM, proclaimed by the party’s Secretary-General Oliver Spasovski, as inconsistent with the previous positions of the party, more precisely in terms of what SDSM’s leader Zoran Zaev said after the meeting with the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, (21 March 2017). Then, when asked whether the president of the Committee on Elections and Appointments will be from SDSM or VMRO-DPMNE, Zaev said that it will be decided on a constitutive session, not on the coordination.
We have been watchful and dedicated to the whole process this entire time. All the while, we have been literally dribbled that somebody is privately busy, so coordination cannot take place, but we waited for that moment. When they were standing on their ground that the members’ composition should be 6, 5, 1, 1, while we were for 5, 5, 2, 2, we accepted that too. And now they request that the president of the Committee must be from VMRO-DPMNE. We have no problem with this issue either, but it is one more excuse for blocking the election of the Parliament’s president, which we won’t allow. One must remember that according to the Rules of Procedure, the Parliament elects the president of the Committee on Elections and Appointments and its deputy in a plenary session. It elects members and deputy members. VMRO-DPMNE should state its arguments, in front of the entire public, why should the president of the Committee on Elections and Appointments be from their party, and this should be discussed in a plenary session. We will state our arguments, but it is widely known how decisions are made in a democratic country – a hand is risen or the button is pressed, and that’s how the Parliament’s president will be elected – Zaev stated (from 0:00 to 1:23 in the video).
Hence, by taking the two statements into account we noticed inconsistency in SDSM’s position, especially after Zaev’s announcement that the election of the Committee’s president should be debated in the Parliament and that’s how it will be determined which party will get the presidency. According to Spasovski’s last statement, on the other hand, it is clear that the Committee’s president has already been designated, and his/her appointment will by only confirmed by voting.
Also, we should mention that according to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, Article 20, Paragraph 1, the president of the Committee on Elections and Appointments is elected by the Parliament.
At its constitutive session, the Assembly, upon the proposal of at least ten members of the Assembly, shall elect a Committee on Elections and Appointments.
- SDSM’s website (23 March 2017): Спасовски: Го прифативме неразумното барање на ВМРО-ДПМНЕ, наша цел е Македонија да оди напред! [Accessed on 27 March 2017]
- SDSM’s YouTube channel (21 March 2017): Заев: Иванов ќе добие писмо од новиот претседател на Собранието треба да го додели мандатот! (from 0:00 to 1:23 in the video)[Accessed on 27 March 2017]
- Parliament of the RM: Деловник на Собрание на Р.М. [Accessed on 27 March 2017]
Assessed by: Dimitar Tanurov