North Macedonia in the World

Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Kire Ilioski at the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna, 27 May 2016

Mr. Chairman,

We take note of the statements made today conserning the political developments in the Republic of Macedonia. In that context let me inform you of the following:

1) The early parliamentary elections that had been rescheduled from the 24 April to the 5 June were cancelled.

Namely, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia on 18 May 2016 decided to temporarily halt all activities toward the early parliamentary elections that were set for 5 June. This measure created a possibility to resume the work of the Parliament and cancel the 5 June elections. The Constitutional Court annulled the parliament dissolving decisions on 25 May.

The Parliament reconvened on 18 May. It adopted amendments to the Electoral Code annulling the articles that set the 5 June date for the conduct of the early parliamentary elections.

Political parties have been looking into dates for the next elections to happen, on the basis of opposition preferences.? The decision would be made jointly by major political parties in the country.

2) A reshuffle of the Interim Government mandated to organize the early parliamentary elections was approved by the Parliament.

Interim Prime Minister accepted the resignations tabled on 6 April by the ministers and additional deputy ministers of the biggest opposition party in the Interim Government. The Parliament on 18 May voted in the new ministers for interior and for labor and social affairs. The biggest opposition party voted against and left the session when new ministers gave oath.

3) Furthermore, the Parliament on 19 May adopted amendments to the law on pardon providing legal basis for rescinding Presidential pardons. The biggest opposition party was absent from the discussion and the vote. The amendments provide for the following:

- Give the President an opportunity to take a decision to revoke pardons granted without a prior procedure within 30 days of the adoption of the amended law. The President is not obliged to explain his decision.

- Pardoned individuals are given the possibility to submit personal written request to the President to rescind the pardon and the President is obliged to annul the decision within 30 days of the submission of the request.

I would like to recall that all political parties in the Republic of Macedonia have disagreed publically with the Decision of the President.

Mr. Chairman, the Parliament also adopted a new law on protection of privacy following the recommendations of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

The new law regulates the privacy of the Macedonian citizens guaranteed by the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights regarding the materials arising from the unlawful interception of communications performed between 2008 and 2015. The provisions of the law will not apply to the materials published until 15 July 2015. The implementation of the law will begin on 1 July 2017. When implementing the law, the competent court is obliged to respect the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the judgments of the European Court on Human Rights.

In addition, legal changes to the electoral code and the personal data protection law were adopted by the Parliament on 19 May, removing the legal obstacle for the State Election Commission to publish the data from the voters list on its website.

Legal changes to the law on administrative disputes and the law on general administrative procedure are underway, envisaging shorter deadlines for certain actions related to the voters list and enhancing the efficiency of the State Election Commission in reviewing voters list.

Mr Chairman,

We agree that the Republic of Macedonia has to move forward and pull out of this prolonged political crisis, where all political parties have to act responsibly, to fully implement the political agreement from last year and to implement necessary reforms.

Macedonia’s focus must remain on the reforms, on accelerating socio-economic development, on advancing on the road to EU accession and attaining NATO membership.

As stated on many occasions, necessary reforms for membership, which often are painful for the candidate countries, would best be implemented if we have a credible process that clearly defines the EU membership framework.

Finally, let me reaffirm that Macedonia appreciates the efforts and support of our strategic partners to the realization of our common strategic goals and commitments of Macedonia becoming part of NATO and the EU.