IBNA Op-Ed/FYROM heading to a political abyss

IBNA Op-Ed/FYROM heading to a political abyss

Skopje, 21 October 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Instead of heading toward a solution, the political crisis in FYROM is deepening. So far, all the deadlines of the Przino Agreement have been exceeded. This agreement should have been implemented by 20 October. Political parties have reflected a lack of will and readiness to reach compromise.

This situation has led to the international community to express its concern and disappointment.

European Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn left Skopje on Tuesday disappointed about the failure of political parties in finalizing the agreement.

The biggest disagreements exist between the party in power, VMRO-DPMNE and Macedonian opposition, led by SDSM. The party led by current prime minister, Nikola Gruevski is asking for the approval of a bill which prevents further publications of registered materials by the opposition, but also, the removal of all materials distributed on the internet. The same positioning is also taken by the other coalition party, BDI (Democratic Union for Integration).

But, the opposition has objected this by saying that the appointment of the Special Prosecutor’s team is a bigger priority, along with the approval of the new electoral code and bills which guarantee media independence. The opposition fears that parties in power are making planned obstructions with the aim of preventing the investigation of the registered materials through a bill which must be passed in parliament.

The newly created institution of the Public Prosecutor is also encountering obstacles. Yesterday, the Public Prosecutors Council has postponed the voting of the team of prosecutors that will work in this institution. This Council says that the 14 prosecutors proposed by the Special Prosecutor, Katica Janeva are unnecessary and that she can work with a team of 7 prosecutors.

Last week, this council has only voted half of the team of prosecutors that was proposed. But, prosecutor Janeva said that this decision is a violation of the law approved in parliament for the Special Prosecutor and that the political agreement reached in Przino is being obstructed.

The US embassy and EU embassy backed prosecutor Janeva, demanding for her team to be made functional as soon as possible, as it has the legal basis and it was approved by the majority of MPs in parliament.

The European Union has declared through EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn that the next 20 hours are decisive for the future of the country and that everything will be reflected in the progress report that will be published in the days to come. Brussels has warned that Skopje is risking the opening of negotiations with the European Union, due to the lack of will and readiness of political leaders to finalize the political agreement.

The ministers proposed by the Macedonian opposition, which will be part of the current government should have been appointed by 20 October. Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Affairs and several deputy ministers will belong to the Macedonian opposition. They will continue to function in the framework of the government until the end of December, when PM Nikola Gruevski is expected to resign and a new interim government is expected to be set up and hold the 24 April 2016 elections.

Political parties are preserving their positions and in the recent hours, unclear silence has engulfed Skopje and its consequences are unpredictable. /ibna/