Counter spin: Gjorge Ivanov can teach you truth spinning

The spin becomes the favorite tool of the ruling elite in Macedonia. Photo: Ballerina ride, Flickr

За три месеци, Претседателот на Република Македонија четири пати ѝ се обраќа на јавноста со говори или интервју, посветени на политичката криза. Иванов, во дел од овие настапи манипулира со јавноста, при што говорејќи за околностите, често пати ја извртува вистината или спинува. Овој пат, преку извртување на вистината директно ги нападна Заев, Ахмети и СЈО


In just three months, the President of the Republic of Macedonia has addressed the public four times via speeches or interviews dedicated to the political crisis. Ivanov has manipulated the public in some of these instances, and while speaking about the circumstances, he oftentimes has spun the truth. This time, he directly attacks Zaev, Ahmeti and the Special Public Prosecution Office with his truth spinning


Author: Teofil Blazhevski


The President Gjorge Ivanov yet again addressed the nation with a speech related to the political crisis and the pardon decision he made and later withdrew, so we decided to present you two out of the plethora of the truth spins he made this time:

Spin 1The legal state has been violated by those who did not have the courage to solve their misunderstandings in the institutions of the country due to their lack of political culture and culture of dialogue and compromise. The legal state has been violated by the leaders of SDSM and DUI, because the constitutional order was not enough for them to meet with us, to sit on a table with us and to make a deal with us, but instead they ran to the embassies of foreign countries. The legal state, the sovereignty and the independence were jeopardized by these two irresponsible political leaders who insisted on the Przhino Agreement however they weren’t even close to respecting it.

Kontraspin - foto Vistinomer

Counter spin: We selected this part of Ivanov’s address because it represents a new moment in his public performances. For the first time, he directly pointed out that the leaders of SDSM and DUI, Zoran Zaev and Ali Ahmeti are responsible for the demolishing of the legal state.

In the de-spinning of this truth spinning, first we would start from his own statement given on 14th of April this year in the interview with around ten editors in chief of national TV stations when he was trying to justify the pardon decision he made two days prior. In that interview, on the question posed by the editor in chief of the 24 Vesti TV station Sead Rizvanovikj, Ivanov admitted that the legal security has been demolished with the pardon decision, but his justification was that the country is more important that the rule of law.

It is correct, the rule of law is brought into question, but I say, nobody can obstruct, after the free elections are held, the constitution of institutions, the initiation of an investigation for anyone’s responsibility, including mine. (around 38th minute in the video).

The second sub-spin in this statement is that the constitutional order was not enough for meeting, “to sit on a table with us and to make a deal with us”, yet Zaev and Ahmeti, Ivanov said, ran to the embassies of foreign countries. The public remembers and the internet archives are witnesses of the fact that Ivanov did not put much effort into organizing leaders’ meeting and taking the role of a facilitator. He was faced with public denial of his function by DUI, whereas SDSM and Zaev stated that if they have problems with Ivanov, they would not refuse any mediation, and they actually proved this when they attended the urgent meeting, or sent their envoys to it, after the events in Kumanovo.

Also, it is not correct that these two leaders ran to the foreign embassies – instead the foreigners started visiting them or started inviting all leaders of political parties to conversation, in the attempt to help finding a solution for the crisis. In fact, Ivanov himself, at least twice last year, accused all leaders of political parties for the situation the country is in, stating that there are “mental walls in their heads that need to be demolished”, but on the other hand he did not have anything against the meetings format “they picked on their own”.

The Macedonian leaders must demolish the mental walls, must fill in the mental trenches as soon as possible, and they must find a solution for this political crisis via dialoguе. The citizens watch with anxiety how the mental walls are growing bigger with every political crisis, whereas the political trenches are becoming deeper. (Ivanov in the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MAAS) on 2 July 2015)

Hence, the whole truth spinning is that the legal state was demolished by these two leaders who did not want to sit on the same table with him in order to have conversations regarding the political crisis. Even less truthful is the statement that “the legal state, the sovereignty and the independence were jeopardized by these two irresponsible political leaders who insisted on the Przhino Agreement however they they weren’t even close to respecting it”.

The monitoring of the implementation of the Przhino Agreement by the coalition of 23 NGOs, Network 23, then the Reports by the European Union, the statements of the ambassadors of the EU member states and the US, the statements of separate ambassadors involved in the negotiations clearly point out the guilt for the non-implementation or the half-implementation of the Przhino Agreement, and the guilt does not lay in those two people, therefore Ivanov with this statement does not do anything else but he openly spins the truth.


Spin 2: The Special Public Prosecution Office is an ad-hoc institution with specifically designated goal in accordance with the agreement of the political parties which was expected to help the solving of the political crisis instead of deepening it.

Unfortunately, instead of being a justice instrument, the Special Public Prosecution Office proved itself as a blackmail instrument. From the million files they say have in possession, they chose only the ones related to the government representatives, i.e. VMRO-DPMNE. The selective prosecution of the SPPO created difficult atmosphere in the society. I even asked personally about the selection methodology regarding those cases. The answer was given by the opposition leader Zaev who stated that the Special Public Prosecution Office acts upon criminal charges submitted solely by the opposition. So, instead of Special Public Prosecution Office we got selective Public Prosecution Office, which serves only to the opposition.

Counter spin: This is severe public attack by Ivanov upon the Special Public Prosecution Office, which in this way gained another enemy that obstructs its work, although the law according to which the SPPO is formed states that all institutions are obliged, including the institution President of RM, to cooperate with the SPPO if asked. Let us remind you, the SPPO asked how the now late Kosta Krpach and other persons were put in Ivanov’s pardon list, but the President’s Cabinet is mute!

Also, we would like to inform the public that we are still waiting for the answer of the President Ivanov regarding the requested data. Namely, our request was sent on 15 April 2015, so having in mind the fact that we did not receive an answer, we sent an urgent letter on 9 May 2016. We expect that besides this tardiness we will receive the requested answer from the President Ivanov. (The prosecutor Lenche Ristoska on 3 June 2016)

There is simply no need to discuss much when it comes to the accusations about the selectivity of the SPPO, because those are general accusations of Nikola Gruevski and all functionaries and satellites of VMRO-DPMNE that received counter arguments as responds.

First, the SPPO began its work by taking over the cases that were already opened by the regular Public Prosecution Office, after criminal charges were submitted by the opposition party SDSM regarding the indications for crimes heard in the published bombs – the wiretapped conversations. And all of this with one small specification – instead of giving the several requested cases, the regular Public Prosecution Office gave all cases to the SPPO, so the deadlines started immediately for all of the cases i.e. 18 months for filing an indictment, stated in the law itself started expiring. This means that the special prosecutor Katica Janeva and the 10 assistant prosecutors work on these cases and they simply do not have the time to occupy themselves with the huge wiretapped material. The prosecutors themselves confirm this too. Plus, isn’t it logical to investigate misuse of power and possible criminal actions perpetrated by the people in power? Those, in the last 10 years, are Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE.

Finally, one legitimate question. How can the President know that the million files contain wiretapped conversations from opposition functionaries, MPs and other people related to them with indications for criminal acts?

In fact, the case “Putsch”, let us remind you, refers to the indictments against several persons, among them SDSM’s leader Zoran Zaev, and this process is still actively led by the Special Public Prosecution Office. So what kind of selectivity is there anyway?

The conclusion is inevitable. Gjorge Ivanov, for the fourth time in the past few months used huge manipulations in his speeches related to the political crisis, so the examples we selected are truth spins. Plus, the spins are skillfully masked with this country’s fate, the safety and security of all citizens and so forth, which also points out to skill and mastery of truth-spinning, possessed by the experts in this field.


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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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