Last week’s visit of Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, to Macedonia did not lead to any advances in resolving the political crisis in Macedonia. It was the last in line of failed attempts of European officials to help reach a solution to the political crisis after president Gjorge Ivanov declined to give the mandate to the opposition leader Zoran Zaev, who managed to assemble a parliamentary majority.
In a statement given to European Western Balkans, Dane Taleski, member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG), claims that the actions of president Ivanov are “shameful”, “unnaceptable”, and “in breach of the Constitution.”
According to Taleski, “it is the primary responsibility of elected officials and political leaders in Macedonia to act in accordance with democratic standards, Constitutional and legal norms (and common sense if you will) to overcome the crisis, to prevent escalation of instability and to restore democracy.”
Taleski claims that since there is a clear parliamentary majority, “it should be allowed without any further hindrance to elect Speaker of parliament and to have peaceful alternation in power.”
Regarding the possible next steps to be undertaken by the EU, Taleski believes that it can help by “giving resolute political support to restoration of democracy and strengthening the rule of law.” According to him, “this means ‘soft’ measures, like calling out president Ivanov, ever so forcefully, to give the mandate to Zoran Zaev and calling out Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE to stop the parliamentary blockade; but also ‘hard’ measures like targeted sanctions (e.g. assets freeze, travel bans, black list) against all individuals that degrade democracy in Macedonia and push it toward authoritarian state.”
This article has been produced with the support of the European Fund for the Balkans. The content of this text and the opinions expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the portal European Western Balkans and in no way reflect the views and opinions of the European Fund for the Balkans.