Macedonian Parliament Speaker: SDSM vote was Illegal


In an interview on Saturday, Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski said that the attempt to elect Talat Xhaferi as a new Speaker on Thursday was a planned scenario to create an incident in the Parliament. Veljanoski said that the session which he adjourned on Thursday is still not finished and will need to continue in the future, when the damage done to the equipment in the Parliament building has been restored.

“You can not elect a Speaker of the Parliament in half a minute time, in the surreptitious way they tried to do it on Thursday. It’s a solemn occasion and you can’t do it in a corner of the hall. That Speaker needs to have the legitimacy to represent the Parliament accepted by all its members, regardless whether they voted for him or not”, Speaker Veljanoski said.

SDSM, DUI and the Alliance of Albanians tried to extend the session on Thursday and elect DUI’s Talat Xhaferi as new Speaker. The move provoked an incident from the crowd attending one of the regular protests organized by the association For a United Macedonia. Scores of people were injured, including several SDSM and AA members of Parliament, when the crowd stormed the building angered by the news that a vote for a new Speaker was forced. European Union’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini and the US State Department said that they acknowledge the vote.

“I believe that we need to continue the session of Parliament, and when we move to the next item of the agenda, which is the election of a Speaker, we can give an opportunity to other parties to present their own candidates. But, I’m concerned over the fact that some members of Parliament are now announcing that they will try to elect a new Government in the same way they voted on Thursday, and will then also vote on a new law for the use of languages, something that requires a two/thirds majority”, Veljanoski added.

According to the Speaker, it was clear that there is a deliberately planned scenario by SDSM who came with pre-prepared documents which they intended to use in the irregular vote. “We pleaded with them not to go ahead wit htheir plan and to work in the interest of the people. but they did it anyway”, Veljanoski said, adding that he witnessed the worst of the incidents that happened near his office