There is no blackmail for government, there is a blackmail for mandate
Ivanov, who said that his position regarding the entrusting of the government mandate to Zoran Zaev remains unchanged, tells the parties and the MPs, in a rather inconsistent manner, which topics should be at the top of their agendas – the European reforms – while forgetting that those exact reforms, together with the Priebe’s recommendations, were promised by the parties which are now majority in the Parliament and which still don’t have the government mandate in their hands.
Statement: …Parties’ leaders imperative should be the implementation of the urgent reform priorities. The European reforms should be the first topic in the parties’ and the MPs’ agendas, not the implementation of a post-election platform created in foreign countries. A platform that jeopardizes the country’s independence, conditions the formation of the parliamentary majority, conditions the formation of the new government. There is a breach of the good neighbor relations by directly interfering in the internal affairs of Macedonia, by fomenting interethnic tensions, by manipulation of the citizens with issues not encompassed by the Framework Agreement, by demanding amendments to the Constitution. Thereby, the Republic of Macedonia needs European reforms, not foreign platforms….
[Source: Web site of the President of the Republic of Macedonia, date: 04 April 2017]
After the meeting with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, Gjorge Ivanov, President of the Republic of Macedonia by function, gave a statement in which, inter alia, he uttered untruth and inconsistencies.
Ivanov, who said that his position regarding the entrusting of the government mandate to Zoran Zaev remains unchanged, tells the parties and the MPs, in a rather inconsistent manner, which topics should be at the top of their agendas – the European reforms – while forgetting that those exact reforms, together with the Priebe’s recommendations, were promised by the parties which are now majority in the Parliament and which still don’t have the government mandate in their hands. Exactly those priorities and reforms, and not any platform, were part of the future government’s Program which was introduced by SDSM’s leader, and were also repeated and confirmed in the speeches of the functionaries of the four parties that have the majority in the Parliament.
Ivanov’s inconsistency is followed by the untruthful portion of his statement: Platform that jeopardizes the country’s independence; Blackmails the formation of the new government; foments interethnic tensions; Manipulates the citizens with issues outside the Framework Agreement, Demands amendments to the Constitution.
First of all, Ivanov incorrectly renames the document from Declaration to Platform. A declaration is an expressed political will or intent, whereas a platform is a resolute program document by one or more political parties.
The Declaration’s signatories refer to it as political agenda: “mutual support of a joint political agenda which projects realization of the following objectives during the next or every future government term”.
It’s not true that the Declaration jeopardizes Macedonia’s independence. This assertion by Ivanov is not supported by any argument whatsoever. Neither the Declaration comprises such thing. And if he thought that it has been agreed in Tirana, we are just going to repeat that it was signed in Skopje and it represents a document by political parliamentary parties registered and active in the Republic of Macedonia.
The Declaration doesn’t blackmail, i.e. give preconditions for the composition of the new government. The composition is yet to be discussed if Ivanov decides to entrust the mandate. Therefore, there isn’t any argument, at least not a public one, that here we witness something that would resemble blackmail for the formation of the new government.
The Declaration doesn’t instigate interethnic tensions, but its misuse and the telling of untruths about it, certainly does. There is no fomenting of tensions in a democratic society when a group of parliamentary political parties express willingness to achieve something through a joint political agenda, while the Declaration itself does not comprise any elements of depriving the rights of some other ethnicity in Macedonia. However, tensions will be fomented (and are being fomented) by the propaganda against this Declaration, initiated by statements and speeches of MPs and high functionaries of VMRO-DPMNE, and of the leader Nikola Gruevski above all. In several instances during the past several weeks, he has said that Macedonia has been attacked and the people are the only ones that can defend it.
The declaration doesn’t manipulate the citizens about issues outside the Framework Agreement. Meaning, the Ohrid Agreement from 2001, transposed in the amendments to the Constitution. And particularly, parts of the Ohrid Agreement, but not directly. Rather, in the provisionsprojected in the Law on Use of the Languages. Amendments of that law and wider use of the Albanian language are demanded, pursuant to the amendment V of the Constitution of the RM.
And finally, amendments in the Constitution are not demanded. Discussion for issues – the coat of arms, the flag, the national anthem – is demanded, and these issues will be discussed if some kind of dialogue is established between the parties that have at least 81 seats, i.e. two thirds majority. Such majority of two thirds would be possible if there is some kind of concordance among the parties in the Parliament as the only place where the Constitution can be amended, which is now virtually impossible, with this constellation of MPs comprised of 51 MP from VMRO-DPMNE. And if Ivanov refers to the name issue, the party that is still waiting to be entrusted with the mandate has said a hundred times already that the final answer will be given by the citizens through a referendum on an eventual proposal.
Owing to the aforesaid arguments, we deem that some parts of Ivanov’s statement, in which he says why he is not entrusting the mandate, are untruthful. Besides the untruthful parts, there is also one inconsistency and thesis swap, which is most apparent when he says that the formation of the government has been blackmailed. No, there is no blackmail of the government related to the Declaration. But there is, per se, blackmail by the President of RM who’s not entrusting the mandate and backs himself with arguments that are unsustainable for many constitutional experts.
- (03 April 2017) President of the RM – Средба со Претседателот на Европскиот Совет, г. Доналд Туск – [Accessed on 04 April 2017]
- (07 January 2017) Portalb – Deklarata e përbashkët e partive shqiptare të Maqedonisë, ja çfarë shkruan (DOKUMENTI) – [Accessed on 04 April 2017]
- (08 January 2017) E Magazin – Сите детали: Објавена заедничката платформа на албанските партии за преговорите за нова влада – [Accessed on 04 April 2017]
- (10 March 2017) SDSM/website – Прес на Заев со Програмата на Владата за период 2017 – 2020 – [Accessed on 04 April 2017]
- (13 March 2017) Truthmeter – Иванов против сите: Пречките за мандатот се уште постојат-[Accessed on 04 April 2017]
- (20 March 2017) Truthmeter – Груевски во стилот: Државата е нападната ама не ви кажувам од кого – [Accessed on 04 April 2017]
Assessed by: Teo 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.