The absurd decision of the Constitutional Court not to discuss the dissolution of the Parliament brought Macedonia into a serious legal quandary. Parliament is dissolved and elections were supposed to be held on April 12, but they were called off because of the coronavirus epidemic.
An attempt by the main political parties and President Stevo Pendarovski to find a legal, constitutional norm to postpone the elections failed. Instead, the Government issued a decree to order the State Electoral Commission to stop preparing the elections on public health grounds. But with the Parliament dissolved and a new date for elections not set, it’s unclear who will order the new elections and set the date once the epidemic has passed.
A controversial precedent was set in 2016 when an already dissolved Parliament was recalled under international pressure, to better maneuver the SDSM party in a position to form the next Government. The Constitutional Court was called up with the purpose of finding some sort of technicality in the decision to dissolve the Parliament and the legislative was recalled.
The court was asked to do so again and recall the Parliament that dissolved in February, but the justices once again under pressure refused to discuss the issue. Meanwhile, Speaker Talat Xhaferi also refuses to recall the Parliament on his own, insisting that that the court needs to do it like the last time.
This leaves Macedonia with an incomplete caretaker Government exercising the legislative power under a state of emergency that was extended for a second month even after President Stevo Pendarovski acknowledged that he has no authority to do so, a judiciary that was in shambles even before the pandemic, and no legitimate legislative power.