North Macedonia: Debate over the election of the president by parliament

North Macedonia: Debate over the election of the president by parliament

Political circles and analysts in Skopje are discussing the possibility of the failure of the presidential elections if turnout in the polls is less than 40%. According to them, if this is the case, the country will need to hold fresh presidential elections along with general elections which are being demanded by opposition.

However, there are also two other options: the head of the state can be elected directly by the people through a simple majority of votes or he could be elected by parliament. These were the two alternatives suggested by Justice minister, Renata Sekoska

“Amending the Constitution in order to facilitate the election of the president is something which has been already recommended by OSCE/ODIHR. There are two options. One, the president can be elected directly by the people through a simple majority and without the need for a run-off. The second option is for the president to be elected by Parliament”, Deskoska said.

Under the country’s Constitution, turnout in the first round of voting must be 50% or higher. In the second round, turnout must be 40% or higher.

Political leaders in the country support the idea of the election of the president by Parliament.

PM Zoran Zaev has said that he strongly supports this idea, while leader of the Democratic Union for Integration, Ali Ahmeti says that many years ago, he had proposed that the head of the state be elected by parliament. But, in order for this to be achieved, 80 out of 120 MPs must vote in favour. /IBNA/