Tuesday, May 28, 2024

ТHE AFFAIRS ARE NOT FORGOTTEN AFTER THREE DAYS, NOT ANY MORE

If Zaev hopes that by imposing other topics on the public agenda and dragging out the results of the investigation will escape from the political abyss, then he is unconsciously going into the political abyss. After 2016, when the public opinion learned from the “bombs” of all the backstage criminal-corrupted politics, forgetting and forgiveness can no longer be used as a means of resolving affairs.

Author: Xhelal Neziri

When the Northern Macedonian Parliament adopted the Law on the Establishment of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office on September 15, 2015, public opinion raised hopes that the rule of law would eventually be established. The three charismatic prosecutors of this institution – Katica Janeva, Lençe Ristovska and Fatime Fetai – were seen by the citizens of this country, with institutions captured, as the saviors of the state system that produced injustice, impunity and poverty. The results of a survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI), conducted in April 2016 showed strong support for the PSP – 63 percent of respondents believed in the work of the institution. This was a pleasant surprise, given that in past surveys state institutions, especially those of the judicial system, enjoyed minimal public confidence. The IRI survey was conducted in the same month (April) when former President, Gjorge Ivanov, made the decision to forgive all persons targeted by the PSP for investigation, based on the wiretapping materials that the opposition leader, now Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, had handed over to the prosecution.

This will mark the first attempt by the organized crime network to bury this institution that restored the hope of great justice to the man of Northern Macedonia. It was precisely this decision that prompted more people to go on massive protests before the presidency, which gave rise to the so-called “Colorful Revolution”, which opened the way for the change of executive power.

But two years later, a survey conducted by national television Telma and the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCMS) had yielded disappointing results – the majority of respondents (53 percent) said they did not trust the PSP. This survey was conducted in December 2018, when this prosecution had begun to give the first signs of suspicion that it was “trading with justice and influence”. Delays in cases, lack of action in their processing, return of travel documents, and release from detention … made every citizen to wonder how this could happen. Even more when the surveillance materials, or “bombs” that were published by Zaev, as part of the campaign “Truth for Macedonia”, indicated explicitly the suspects’ guilt.

In May 2017, the power of Skopje was taken by the new government of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) led exactly by Zaev, the one who had “cracked” the bombs of corruption and organized crime. This momentum had further added the pressure on the PSP and Zaev to show results in the area he used as the cause for coming to power – the uncompromising fight against organized crime and corruption.

The “Racketeering” affair has finally buried trust not only in the Special Prosecution, but also in the entire justice system. This affair proved the destructive power of the criminal-corrupt network, which magically remains untouched by the law, no matter what political structure is in power or what institutions are established to fight them. This affair showed that even the new government of Prime Minister Zaev has a large, rotting part, which is rapidly devouring all power. Since the SDSM’s came to power almost every day the public has been shaken by corrupt affairs, nepotism and abuse of power.

“Huh, don’t tell me that any affair hasn’t happened today,” is the mockery most widely used on social networks by citizens of the country. Another wrote: “I have strengthened my neck muscles by moving my head out of distrust of the scandals that are happening.” If only a single day would go by without a corrupt affair, they (the citizens) would no doubt be amazed at how this could happen.

Can this situation return to normal? There is only one way – to condemn all those involved in the “Racketeering” affair, whether they are senior SDSM officials, people close to Zaev, prosecutors and judges, or even powerful and untouchable oligarchs who buy their freedom with the money stolen from citizen taxes

So far, Prime Minister Zaev and the Basic Prosecution appear to be looking to buy time. The government hopes that this affair too will pass as the great affair during the governance of VMRO-DPMNE (2006-2016), in the manner “every wonder lasts for three days”. The Basic Prosecution, which had to conduct a speedy and efficient investigation, went on a collective leave at the height of the affair. This was seen as an attempt to push this scandal into forgetfulness. Even the Prime Minister Zaev’s statement that “it will not allow a vain journalist, some criminals and a gay to overthrow the government” was seen as an attempt to remove from the head of the public agenda the topic “Racketeering” 

SDSM also adopted a statement on fighting corruption, meanwhile in the name of the reforms dismissing the party’s vice-presidents and secretary-general, because some of them were seen in company of Bojan Jovanovski, known as Boki 13, in the “Racketeering” affair.

If Zaev hopes that by imposing other topics on the public agenda and dragging out the results of the investigation will escape from the political abyss, then he is unconsciously going into the political abyss. After 2016, when the public opinion learned from the “bombs” of  all the backstage criminal-corrupted politics, forgetting and forgiveness can no longer be used as a means of resolving affairs.

Only a sincere political will, which would bring to justice the most powerful political and business figures who have broken the law, could restore confidence in the state system and save the prime minister’s political career. / KDP

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