Thursday, May 23, 2024


This selection practice is more than necessary if the decriminalization of politics is really desired

Author: Xhelal Neziri 

Regional, fractional or clan representation has so far been the basic criterion that has determined who will be a candidate for deputy or minister. Rarely, if ever, such a criterion has not been the quality and purity of the candidate.

The Law on Election of Deputies in North Macedonia does not foresee the fulfillment of the criteria of legal purity, even less the ethical one. Article 5 of the law states that anyone with North Macedonian citizenship, who is 18 years old, has the ability to work and is not in prison due to a criminal offense, is eligible to be elected.

The right to vote or to choose is guaranteed in any democratic country. This is guaranteed by the electoral laws and the Constitution of the country. However, even the most notorious criminal in the world, Pablo Escobar, in 1982 was elected for a deputy in the Congress of Columbia.

In the Balkans, as in many Latin American countries, democracy fails to function properly – with its interests, principles and values. In this region only interests dominate, while principles and values ​​are only to enrich public discourse. Therefore, as with the former Escobar’s Colombia or present-day Mexico, it is difficult to delineate where the state ends and where the mafia begins. It is the well-known saying that “all states have their own mafia; only in the Balkans the mafia has her own states”. In North Macedonia, there are about 20 deputies in litigation or investigations, the latest of which is Parliament Vice Speaker, Frosina Remenski for the “Racketeering” case. In the 2017 parliamentary elections in në Kosovo there were 25 candidates for deputies under investigation, while in the composition of the Albanian Parliament 12 deputies were under investigation for various criminal offenses. In addition, two Albanian deputies had served prison sentences in European countries for involvement in the drug trade. 

The function of deputy is attractive to crime people because of the legal immunity and political power it offers. There are rumors that a safe place on the candidate list for deputy costs from 100,000 euros or more. This makes politics a profitable business, but at the same time criminalized.

North Macedonia is expected to hold early parliamentary elections in six months from now, the sixth in a row since 2006. If there we will be candidates for deputies, then ministers who do not have a black mark on their biography will depend of two factors: the first one is about the internal vetting of candidates within the party, and the second is about the vetting of candidates for ministers, deputy ministers, state secretaries and directors who will emerge from the parties that will form the governing coalition.


It is not necessary to change the laws, but only a political will is needed for the parties to install these principles and values ​​in their personnel policy. Same as in the formation of the Komisionit Evropian,European Commission, an institution that plays the role of executive power in the EU. Each of the 28 EU member states nominates a commissioner (minister), but every candidacy must pass through difficult vetting filters. 


 “Candidates for the Commission’s portfolios have to go through a difficult parliamentary vetting process. The (European) Council, in agreement with the elected President of the Commission, approves a list of candidate commissioners, one for each Member State. The proposed commissioners appear before parliamentary committees in their future areas of responsibility. Each committee meets to draft its assessment of the expertise and work of the candidate, which is sent to the President of Parliament. A negative assessment causes the candidates to withdraw from the process, ”is said in the explanation of the manner of candidate selection for EU commissioners. Last month, French President Emanuel Macron’s proposal to elect Silvi Gulard Silvi Gulard as EC industrial commissioner was rejected because of her involvement in an affair in France.

This selection practice is more than necessary if the decriminalization of politics is really desired. The word vetting may have been widely used in public discourse in recent years, but it needs to become the subject of selection of candidates for the legislative and law-making power in the country. / KDP


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