Government launches constitutional changes, opposition reacts

Government launches constitutional changes, opposition reacts

IBNA Special Report

Skopje, June 30, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Government in FYR Macedonia has launched constitutional changes in the domain of economy and judiciary system. But, this incentive has sparked debates and the reaction of opposition Macedonian and Albanian parties.

As promoter of these changes, prime minister Nikola Gruevski said that they’re being made based on the plan of reforms in the domain of economy and judiciary system.

Macedonian opposition said that the country must also have other priorities. Meanwhile, Albanian political parties and Albanian analysts react against the Albanian party in power BDI (Democratic Union for Integration), which must encourage constitutional changes in order to push forward issues concerning Albanians.

What are the proposed changes

Constitutional changes have been planned on eight different domains mainly in the domain of economy and judiciary system. The changes that have been proposed are: to change the name of the Popular Bank of the Republic of Macedonia to the Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, definition of the marriage as the unification between a man and a woman, the application of the institute “Constitutional Complaints”, the changes in the composition of the Republican Judicial Committee, which excludes the minister of Justice and head of the Supreme Court. Among the requests is also the improvement of taxation rules in the framework of the budget, the formation of the fiscal area and the definition of the State Authority for Revision as a constitutional category.

Prime minister Nikola Gruevski said that these changes will improve the quality, increase the independence of the state system in the economic-financial domain and the judiciary domain.

“This incentive aims at building mechanisms which guarantee fiscal discipline and stability. Meanwhile, in the domain of the judiciary system, we’re aiming at a full independence of the judiciary system”, said Gruevski.

He also demanded the support of other parties, stressing that these proposed changes must be backed by them.

Opposition reacts: the country has other priorities

Opposition party, LSDM (Macedonian Social Democratic League) has reacted against this decision by saying that the country has more important priorities.

“Republic of Macedonia has more serious priorities than to deal with the whims of Nikola Gruevski, such as fight against poverty, unemployment, the displacement of young people from the country. This country has more serious problems”, said the spokesman of LSDM, Petre Silegov.

PDSH (Albanian Democratic Party) has demanded explanations from the Albanian party in power BDI as to why it doesn’t launch constitutional changes about the rights of Albanians.

“BDI constantly declares that it will push forward the issues that relate to Albanians, but now, this party is not saying anything about issues such as the formalization of the Albanian language, a wider use of national symbols, the solution of the president through a cross ethnic consensus and other issues that relate to Albanians”, said PDSH lawmaker, Imer Aliu.

Analysts: Why are the changes relating to Albanians not being proposed

Albanian political analysts have said that Albanian party in power has a chance to propose constitutional changes relating to Albanians.

Expert on legal issues, Fatos Rushiti told IBNA that BDI must be more responsible and explain why it withdrew from its demands relating to the rights of Albanians promoted during the electoral campaign.

“BDI is irresponsible because it withdrew from its political demands such as the use of the Albanian language, application of the principle of decision making by Albanians in judicial institutions and decisions of the government about the budget and cross ethnic issues. Now they can also propose constitutional changes about the election of a cross ethnic consensual president by parliament and also other issues”, said Rushiti, lecturer at the State University of Tetovo.

International representatives in Skopje and Brussels have not commented these changes, which according to the government, are part of the agenda of reforms in the framework of the European integration process. /ibna/