Transitional government has no authority to offer free transport for youths

Дали како премиер или како партиски лидер, тој кажува што ќе сработи Владата. Слика: МЕТА

VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski issued a statement regarding new projects proposed by the party, one of which should see an increase in the number of days when rail transport is free for youths under 27.

Promoting five new youth-related projects, Gruevski discussed the project whereby Macedonian Railways would issue a free weekend return ticket to youths under 27 twice a month. Said Gruevski:

The implementation will commence in March 2016, with the Government allocating additional funds to Macedonian Railways. [Source: META, Date: 20.01.2016]

Such a statement is incommensurate with the position of the speaker and can be considered inconsistent, to say the least.

 

ARGUMENT

VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski has occupied the position of PM for the last 10 years, since the party’s landslide victory in the parliamentary elections of 2006. Gruevski held the office until last Monday (18.01.2016) when the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia voted to accept his resignation and elected a new Government in charge of organizing the elections with Emil Dimitriev as its Prime Minister.

Articles 4 and 8 of the Law on the Government clearly set out the authorities of the Government and its activities after it is elected. In accordance with the Pržino Agreement, the Law on the Government was amended to include the provision that a transitional government with an interim PM shall be elected one hundred days before the day of the elections. Its remit is the interim maintenance of state functions and care for the organisation of the elections.

Article 43

One hundred days before the day of the parliamentary elections, the President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia having resigned previously, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia elects a new, transitional Government to organise the elections, with a new President of the Government nominated by the party with the greatest number of representatives to the Assembly.

It is clear that the other rights and authorities of the Government, such as implementing measures regarding the promotion of economic or social policies, are restored only after a new Government is elected in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections, regardless whether they are regular or early elections.

This is clearly stipulated in the Pržino Agreement, where item 6/IV clearly sets out the mandate of the transitional government:

A President proposed by VMRO-DPMNE will be in charge of the new Government and the scope of the actions of the Government will be limited to organising the elections.

Article 8a of the 2014 amendment of the Election rulebook stipulates the prohibited and allowed actions from the day of the announcement of the elections:

… pay out salaries, pensions, welfare and other payments and material reimbursements from the budget or public funds for irregular (non-monthly) payments, i.e. all yearly transfers and reimbursements or single-instance transfers from the budget or public funds, nor may it trade state capital or sign collective agreements.

For the moment, Nikola Gruevski is merely the president of a political party which, in fairness, holds the greatest number of Assembly representatives and thus nominates the new PM who manages the transitional government. Under no circumstances does this grant Gruevski the right to speak on behalf of the Government, as he occasionally did during the presentation of the new youth measures proposed by VMRO-DPMNE.

Furthermore, Gruevski possesses even less authority to claim that the measures will be implemented in a month and a half, around March 5 or 6, as the formal decision to hold elections on April 24 will have been proclaimed by then. He also has no authority to claim that the Government will provide Macedonian Railways with additional transfers to subsidise this measure. The government’s adoption and implementation of a social measure is not within the purview of the leader of a political party whose member is the interim head of a transitional government which, lest we forget, may not adopt measures or activities for the potential benefit of the party during the upcoming elections, fusing the party with the state.

Hence, Gruevski’s statement should be considered inconsistent.

 

SOURCES:

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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.