Counterspin: The Assembly has Drastically Reduced Efficiency – Both VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM Are Using Spins
The statistics used by VMRO-DPMNE according to which they were more efficient than SDSM, but also the statistics used by SDSM when they say that salaries were returned and that 99.5 percent of the opposition MPs blocked this decision, should not be used for daily political purposes. Only a glance at the number of sessions held and completed from 2018 to 2021 shows that the efficiency measured by this criterion decreases dramatically, which shows that MPs are generally inefficient
Author: Teofil Blazevski
The MP from the largest party in the Parliament VMRO-DPMNE, Bojan Stojanoski, presented statistical indicators for the work of the MPs of the opposition party, which we assess as a spin:
Spin: SDSM MPs do not even earn their salary. In the period from July to December 2021, the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE were three times more active than those of SDSM.
In the mentioned period, the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE had 109 discussions in the Assembly, as opposed to 36 held by SDSM. It is identical in the number of replies where the MPs from VMRO-DPMNE have 127 replies, while those of SDSM have 83 replies…
[Source: VMRO-DPMNE – press / Stojanoski – date: 12.05.2022]
Counterspin: Statistics is a science, and when used for daily political purposes, it can be kneaded like clay and shaped to your own needs. Such a partial extraction of statistics was made by VMRO-DPMNE, in response to the also inappropriateness of SDSM’s request for the MPs from the opposition party to return their salaries due to the active boycott. SDSM, in turn, spin that 99.5 percent of VMRO-DPMNE MPs blocked decisions in the Assembly.
The spin or distortion of the truth made by the opposition party is not about the truth of what was said but in the omission of two very important moments. The first is that the work of a Member of Parliament or a parliamentary group cannot be evaluated by statistically showing the number of discussions, replies or amendments. Because if that is the case, the party Levica with only two MPs, in percentage terms, may be the most active in the Assembly, following their discussions and amendments.
The second moment that is omitted in the speech of the MP Stojanoski from VMRO-DPMNE, but also in the statement of SDSM, is the total effect of this parliamentary composition, whose mandate started from August 2020, after the early parliamentary elections held that year in July.
Because if we look at the statistics mentioned by the Assembly in its annual reports and not only for a period of two, but for four years, we will come to a data that says that the efficiency measured through held and completed sessions has dropped dramatically and is continuously declining.
According to those annual reports, the Assembly during 2018 held a total of 48 plenary sessions, of which 39 were completed and only 9 remained uncompleted.
In 2019, during the entire period from January to December, the Assembly works similarly, but a small downward trend in efficiency has begun – 49 sessions were held, with 37 completed and 12 uncompleted.
In 2020, the election year, the Assembly becomes inefficient (Covid-19, dissolution of the parliament, etc.), so in the period from August to December, it held 29 (or 28 – because the slide number and the text do not match) sessions, out of which 12 were completed and 17 remained uncompleted.
Finally, in 2021 – a full year term with a one-month break for local elections, the Assembly held the same sessions and the same completed and uncompleted as it was in 2020 in just 5 months – 29 held, 12 completed, and 17 to be held for this year.
How did SDSM count the 99.5 percent blockades of VMRO-DPMNE?
Due to the above statistics, we single out the spin of SDSM expressed in today’s announcement:
SDSM – spin: The non-working of the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE costs the citizens over 55,000 euros per month. 99.5 percent of VMRO-DPMNE MPs block and obstruct, and only 05 percent (vote for) solutions for citizens
[Source: SDSM – Announcement – date: 13.05.2022]
Counterpsin: The request of SDSM to take away the salaries of the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE due to the blockade is a spin because the parliamentary group of VMRO-DPMNE is in the Assembly. What they do there and how they behave is another matter, but they are in sessions, at least for now.
What is also a spin is the chart placed by SDSM, which states that the blockades and obstructions of VMRO-DPMNE MPs were 99.5 percent, and that only 0.5 percent participated in the debate constructively (according to SDSM) and voted for solutions in favor of the citizens. The public remains denied the opportunity to understand how this “cheerful math” came about because the source of this graph is not stated in the announcement.
Hence, and having in mind the statistics for held and completed sessions that we have listed above, it is clear that this is also a spin. Because, approximately, from an efficiency of 70-80 percent in 2018 and 2019, through a decline of 40 percent in 2020, in 2021 we could reduce that efficiency to 20 percent, given the months to operate in 2020 (5 months) and 2021 (10 months).
This is a statistic that neither VMRO-DPMNE nor SDSM tells. Moreover, this statistic is also not complete and someone can rightly say that it does not speak fully about efficiency, blockades earned salaries and the like. Because, if you look at the total number of hours of plenary sessions in 2021, MPs spent 366 hours, in 2020 – 250 hours, in 2019 – 406 hours, and in 2018 – 358 hours.
Hence, the conclusion that both VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM are spinning on this issue, and a fact that can be determined is that the Assembly, however, is becoming increasingly inefficient.
This article has been produced within the project Fact-Checking the Progress of North Macedonia towards the EU, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. The article, originally published by Truthmeter,, is made possible by the support of the American non-profit foundation NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The content of this article is the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, NED or their partners.