US Ambassador and acting Macedonian Prime Minister Kate Byrnes intervened today to get the two Albanian opposition parties not to block the session of Parliament, which is meant to postpone the census. The Zaev junta initially agreed to pressure from its Albanian coalition partners to hold a “corona census” in April, with mass and often illegal online registration of the Albanian diaspora and an expected boycott at home, especially among ethnic Macedonians.
Under pressure from DPNE, which called for a boycott for public health considerations and warned that the census will portray a skewed picture of the ethnic breakdown in Macedonia, Zaev agreed to postpone it for September and submitted a bill to that effect, but now the Alliance of Albanians and the Alternative parties threaten to filibuster the bill with thousands of amendments.
Ambassador Byrnes spoke with Alliance for Albanians and Alternativa leaders Ziadin Sela and Afrim Gashi today to stress the need for a constructive and engaged opposition. Ambassador Byrnes encouraged both leaders to work collaboratively with others to resolve the pressing challenges facing the country, the US Embassy said in a statement.