President Stevo Pendarovski decided to order that the state of emergency is extended for two more weeks. Macedonia has been under a state of emergency for two months tomorrow, allowing the Government to rule by executive decrees.
Pendarovski said that he met with a number of experts and decided that it is best to prolong the extraordinary legal situation for two more weeks. A month ago Pendarovski conceded that he has no constitutional grounds to extend the state of emergency beyond the original one month but said that he will do so anyway because “lives are at stake”.
His decision comes after the interim Government urged him to extend the state of emergency for a third whole month. Zoran Zaev, the leader of the ruling SDSM party, openly declared that he wants to use Pendarovski’s decision to fine-tune the election date to a point that best suits the interest of his party. Zaev wants elections in June or early July, hoping that the low turnout, still being in the early stage of economic crisis and the fact he still hasn’t delivered on the most humiliating concessions that Bulgaria requests from Macedonia will help him in the polls.
According to Zaev, elections should take place 22 days after the state of emergency is lifted – a notion that other parties reject as they demand to hear expert, medical opinion that it is safe to hold elections.