North Macedonia: Zaev and Mickoski decide to push back census to September

North Macedonia: Zaev and Mickoski decide to push back census to September

At the Parliamentary Group in Skopje, North Macedonian Prime Minister and SDSM President Zoran Zaev discussed with VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski the upcoming census, the work of the Assembly, the elections, the pandemic, the economy and European integration.

The two men held an hours-long private meeting in the Parliamentary Group, which concluded with compromise statements and an agreement to postpone the census, which will take place in September.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, in a statement to the media after his meeting with VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski, noted that the topics discussed at the meeting were the census, COVID-19 vaccination, the Electoral Code and promoting democratic models for local and parliamentary elections, but also unblocking the work of the Convention.

“During the meeting, we took a break to consult with the President, the President of the Assembly, the Minister of Justice, the director of the State Statistical Service, as well as major coalition partners DUI and BESA, while on Wednesday I have a meeting with the AA and the Alternatives with whom we will discuss citizenship, as well as the issues from today’s agenda.

Due to the immunization of the population and the possibility of the census takers receiving the second vaccine dose, we have reached an agreement to postpone the census in the country and carry it out from 5 to 30 September, thus pushing back the local elections which will take place in the second half of October, instead of the first half as scheduled.

Of course, it is very important that the information I shared with the President of VMRO-DPMNE regarding the situation on what it means to immunize the population from Wednesday 31 March is in line with the expectations arising from the agreements we have with COVAX and “Pfizer” from the EU, the agreements from China, from Russia for 350,000 vaccines until the end of April.

The Diaspora will continue to be listed throughout this period until September 30, which will give everyone the opportunity to be motivated and enumerated en masse,” Zaev said.

Mickoski stated that today’s meeting was successful and left the door open for other meetings. Starting tomorrow, a voting process will begin on the amendments to the Electoral Code, in order to enable voting with fingerprints. As for the work in parliament, VMRO-DPMNE agreed to cooperate with the majority on all laws related to North Macedonia’s EU accession and all laws related to supporting the economy amid the pandemic and to other areas of the package.

“We have agreed that trust must be built, that dialogue is a two-way process, and whether we continue to be a constructive opposition will depend on whether we have constructive power,” Mickoski said, explaining that no expert, assembly or other government raised any issues, something that he said would be “profiteering.”

“We did not want to politicize, we did not want to get involved in politics, but to save lives,” Mickoski told reporters when asked if his party was retaliating after months of calling for early elections and announcing the overthrow of the government. He also announced that in the future, if there is a need for such meetings between him and Zaev, they will take place with the participation of an enlarged composition, referring to the Albanian opposition parties. /ibna