Sunday, May 19, 2024

THE 20 DAYS OF A MANDATE

So, in this case, the integrist leader is required to swallow two bitter bites: first, to give up the idea of ​​an Albanian prime minister; and second – to make a politician a prime minister who does not value his voters “even 5 cents”. If Zaev continues to remain in these positions, the DUI should not become part of the government.

 

Author: Xhelal Neziri

 

President Stevo Pendarovski gave the mandate to form the government to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev. Although he had not secured the signatures of 61 of the 120 deputies, the Social Democrat leader gained another 20 days to form the government.

Article 90 of the Constitution of Northern Macedonia does not specify very clearly to which politician, political party or coalition the president of the state should give the mandate to form the new government. “The President of the Republic of Northern Macedonia is obliged, within ten days from the constitution of the Parliament, to entrust the mandate for the composition of the Government to the party candidate, respectively the parties that have the majority in the Parliament. The mandator within 20 days from the day of the mandate trust in the Parliament submits a program and proposes the composition of the Government. The Government, on the proposal of the Prime Minister and based on the program, is elected by the Assembly with a majority of votes from the total number of deputies “.

As expected, within the constitutional deadline of 10 days after the constitution of the Parliament, none of the leaders or political parties managed to form a parliamentary majority. Found in such a situation, Pendarovski acted as his predecessor Gjorge Ivanov, giving the mandate to the leader of the coalition with more deputies, but without a majority. Four years ago, former President Ivanov even refused to hand over the mandate to Zaev, even though he had secured the signatures of over 61 deputies. The reason was that the VMRO-DPMNE party, then led by Nikola Gruevski, had received 51 deputies, two more than Zaev’s SDSM. Hence, Ivanov’s interpretation was that the mandate is first given to the winning party or coalition, and then passes to the second party. The practice was strongly opposed by SDSM and legal experts, accusing Ivanov of violating the country’s constitution solely to enable Gruevski to form a government. But now that Zaev takes the mandate as Gruevski in 2016, the debate on this topic does not have a high intensity.

However, Zaev won another 20 days to form the government. The options are known – with DUI or ASH / AAA plus 3 deputies “transferred” from VMRO-DPMNE. Both scenarios are not easy. An additional obstacle to forming a coalition with Albanian parties is Zaev’s lack of public apology for his assessment that “Albanian votes are not worth even 5 cents”, secretly recorded in a private conversation with him. This eavesdropping, published during the election campaign, provoked another emotional reaction of the current candidate for prime  minister – in a Facebook status he said that the DUI votes are not worth “even 5 cents”. Although Zaev hasn’t apologized publicly neither to 105 thousand voters of this party have apologized publicly, he continue to request in negotiations with the integrist leader Ali Ahmeti his support to form the government.

In addition to the silence and reluctance to apologize for the qualification that was assessed as derogatory for the Albanian voter, Zaev from Ahmeti even seeks to support it without accepting that one day the government will be led by an ethnic Albanian. So, in this case, the integrist leader is required to swallow two bitter bites: first, to give up the idea of ​​an Albanian prime minister; and second – to make a politician a prime minister who does not value his voters “even 5 cents”. If Zaev continues to remain in these positions, the DUI should not become part of the government. The mandator should be left to attempt to form the government with ASH / AAA. If it does not arrive within the constitutional deadline, then with the next mandator the negotiation process starts from the beginning.

The numbers show that the SDSM government without DUI wants a “market” of deputies, which would legally falsify the legitimacy of the majority expressed in the elections. This would have a high cost for democracy, especially after the “transfer” of over 8 opposition MPs from the previous parliamentary composition. The sale of seats is billed to democracy as a system.

Twenty days pass quickly. Zaev will have to be flexible and reasonable if he has in the first place the state interest, good interethnic relations and the country’s integration into the European Union (EU). And if he becomes prime minister and does not want early elections after a year, the first step he must take is to get rid of the advisers that lead him to this impasse.

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