The constitutive session is not the occasion for requesting details on the agreed majority

 

 

From now on, if a party wins 61 seat, it means that it can do whatever it wants. But that’s an example of disrespect of the citizens. It turns out that two leaders, maybe three, maybe four, can lock themselves in a room and reach a parliamentary agreement on the functioning of the parliamentary majority. We don’t request anything non-democratic. We request this particular agreement to be presented.

[Source: Нова ТВ/youtube –from 2.12 to 3.06 min. – date: 30 March 2017]

 

EXPLANATION:

Ilija Dimovski’s statement quoted above, was uttered at the fourth sequel of the constitutive session of the Parliament of the RM, is untruthful and manipulates the public.

While explaining why a party cannot do whatever it wants if it wins 61 seat, i.e. majority in the Parliament, Dimovski correctly points out that “if a party does whatever it wants” that would mean disrespect of the citizens. He adds that even if four leaders sit at a table and reach a parliamentary agreement, they, in such case the opposition in the Parliament, haven’t requested anything nondemocratic, they have only requested the presentation of such agreement. At this particular moment, Dimovski’s statement becomes untruth.

Namely, the procedure in every parliamentary democracy, including Macedonia, which has certain particularities due to the country’s multiethnic character, is completely clear. The one who wins the majority of votes or the leader of the coalition that wins the majority of votes is entrusted with a mandate to form the new Government. (Article 90 of the Constitution of RM)

As opposed to this, that mandate was entrusted to the leader of the party Dimovski represents. Even after twenty days, his leader failed to reach an agreement on coalition government with DUI, because one of the biggest problems in the agreement, if not the only one, according to what DUI’s negotiators have said in public, is the Special Prosecution Office.

Immediately afterwards, SDSM notified President Gjorge Ivanov that it secured 67 signatures from its own MPs and those from three other parties: DUI, the Alliance for Albanians and BESA, and these signatures are clear parliamentary majority. However, Ivanov unconstitutionally (according to the most constitutional experts) complicates and requests two more conditions – the Parliament to notify him about the majority, i.e. Speaker has to be elected (formal aspect that could’ve been surpassed) and more importantly, as he puts it, to receive solid guarantees that the unity of the country won’t be jeopardized. In other words, the majority has to back down on  the so called Tirana platform.

But, let’s assume that the constitutive session will be over soon, the new Speaker will officially notify Ivanov about the parliamentary majority and then he is going to entrust the mandate to the leader of the group of parties that comprises the majority.

All of this is followed by negotiations for formation of the Government between the four parties, in our case SDSM and the three parties that gave their signatures. After the negotiations are finished, the mandatee (Zoran Zaev) will announce if they have or haven’t reached an agreement on formation of Government, but in no more than 20 days. If they reach an agreement, a session in the Parliament on the election of the new Government should take place.

Subsequently, this session, viewed from procedural and democratic viewpoint, is the time and place where besides the discussion on the program and the members of the new Government, VMRO-DPMNE’s parliamentary party group and Ilija Dimovski can request, absolutely legally and legitimately, presentation of the coalition agreement as well as something more than what’s written in the program, which by the way, has been already published by SDSM.

At the end of the day, Dimovski could have pointed out to one example from the Macedonian history, if it is a democratic thing to do at all, when there was filibustering in a constitutive session. Or, he could’ve given an example of when his party, VMRO-DPMNE, has elaborated the coalition program on a constitutive session right after the elections, so we’ll take 2008 as an example, the year when VMRO-DPMNE and DUI formed a coalition.

And when it comes to 2008 in particular, it is an especially important year because during that mandate which ended in 2011, the coalition of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI started making dubious decisions: explicit application of the “nonexistent” May Agreement; passing a law on the use of the  languages; then the legal proceedings which ended in reclaiming the money paid to some members of the Ministry of Interior and the Army of the Republic of Macedonia as  compensation for their wounds and other health consequences from the conflict in 2001; afterwards we witnessed the amnesty of the so called Hague cases, followed by the extension of the law on the use of the languages etc. All of these things were not written in the Government’s Program voted by the Parliament for this particular term. Furthermore, neither the then PM Nikola Gruevski announced anything of that after the victory, nor was it announced during the election of government– quite the contrary, the strategy was NATO and EU accession.

Hence, owing to the aforesaid arguments regarding the procedure and rules in a parliamentary democracy, according to the international experience and according to the practice as well as constitutional and legal procedures in RM, we assess that Dimovski’s statement that they don’t request anything special, but only a presentation of the coalition agreement between SDSM, DUI, BESA and the Alliance for Albanians, is untruthful. That is a rather unusual request at this stage because only signatures for parliamentary majority have been obtained so far, whereas a coalition agreement hasn’t been reached yet.

 

 SOURCES:

 

Assessed by: Teofil Blazhevski


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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