Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has received the letter from disputed new Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi on Tuesday, May 9th, informing him that there is a declared SDSM led majority in the Parliament. Sources in the Office of the President tell MIA that the President expects to see SDSM leader Zoran Zaev to meet his public announcement that he will “offer guarantees, jointly with the coalition partners, that we will strengthen the unitary character of the state and that everything will be done in accordance with the Constituion”.
President Ivanov refused to give Zaev the mandate when the SDS leader first announced he has the support of three ethnic Albanian parties, citing the controversial Tirana platform which these three parties jointly signed. According to President Ivanov, the platform is unconstitutional and would put Macedonia in a subservient position toward Albania, where it was signed. Ivanov asked Zaev to renounce the platform before he can ask for the mandate. The three signatory parties, DUI, BESA and Alliance of Albanians, insist that the platform is implemented by the future Government as condition for their support.
“President Ivanov remains on the position that neither the so-called Tirana platform, or any other document or action that are contrary to the Macedonian Constitution, can be used as a pre-condition to form a Government. In making his decision on whether to award the mandate, the Macedonian President will be led by the Constitution and the established practice”, MIA was told by sources in the President’s Office.
According to SDSM, President Ivanov was notified days ago and he should award the mandate to Zaev as soon as possible. The Constitution gives the President 10 days after the elections to award the mandate to the representative of a party that has the majority in Parliament. This holder of the mandate then has 20 days to propose the members of a Government and a program to the Parliament. This procedure is described in the Constitution for the first awarding of the mandate, and Ivanov respected it by giving the mandate to the leader of VMRO-DPMNE Nikola Gruevski, whose party won the elections. Gruevski failed to form a Government in the 20 days, and as the Constitution says nothing about what happens next, the parties have descended in a deeper political crisis, leading to a filibuster in Parliament, a parallel session organized by SDSM and its Albanian partners, and a storming of the building on April 27th.