The Macedonian Parliament started the debate on the Government proposed by SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, who read his expose and said that he will institute reforms in the judiciary and will limit the backlash against political opponents. Before Zaev spoke, VMRO-DPMNE representative Ilija Dimovski asked that the Parliament votes to urgently begin preparations for the municipal elections, a proposal that was rejected with 41 votes in favor and 52 against. 27 MPs failed to show up to work.
Tuesday’s session was led by Talat Xhaferi, who is recognized by DUI, SDS and AA as the Speaker. Xhaferi led by speaking in Albanian before switching to Macedonian. Antonio Miloshoski from VMRO-DPMNE accused Xhaferi of being elected illegally and referred to him as “respected member of Parliament” and not as a Speaker, to which Xhaferi said that he will continue to lead the session in Albanian if VMRO continued not to recognize his excellency. The child-like discussion continued this way for 15 minutes.
Zaev, who claims he is beloved from the people, brought in at least 20 police vehicles and EBR policemen to protect him from the people.
Santa Clause is in town
Zaev announced some of the measures which SDS has proposed, such as increasing the minimum wage to 16.000 denars (260 EUR) and the average wage to 30.000 denars (500 EUR), extending the mandate of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, re-introducing an electricity subsidy, abolishment of the public broadcasting tax, increases of salaries for specialized doctors and abolishment of the external testing of teachers. Zaev also insisted that his Government will push for a full repeal and re-election of all judges and prosecutors. He also said that he will work to limit the backlash against SDS’ political opponents and said that he will refrain from mass firings in the public administration.
Gruevski called Zaev’s minimum and average salaries a fantasy which even Santa Clause wouldn’t do.
VMRO-DPMNE also took the rejection of their proposal to urgently prepare for early elections as announcement that the SDS led majority in Parliament will try to avoid the elections, which are now expected to be held in mid October and would be the first test for Zaev’s Government.
“I decided to submit this law because we still have doubts about whether the newly formed majority in Parliament is honest about respecting our agreement from three weeks ago to call the municipal elections on October 15th”, Dimovski said while proposing the law which would have specified the date for the local elections. The mandate of the current municipal authorities has already lapsed and it is feared that postponing the elections could lead to complete blockade of their work.