Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov named Zoran Zaev, leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, as holder of the mandate to form the next Government. The move came after Zaev submitted a written letter to the office of the President, in which he guarantees that the Tirana platform will not be used as basis or condition to form the Government. President Ivanov rejected Zaev’s demands to give him the mandate for months, after SDSM announced that they have the support of three ethnic Albanian parties that signed the Tirana platform, which calls for radical changes to the way inter-ethnic relations are regulated in Macedonia.
“The obstacles to award the mandate to form a Government of the Republic of Macedonia have been removed. Today we act under article 84 line 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia to determine the mandate holder. The coalition led by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, which has the majority in the Parliament, proposed Mr. Zoran Zaev as its candidate to receive the mandate to form the Government”, President Ivanov said at the brief ceremony held at the President’s office.
Zaev read the full text of the guarantee he submitted to President Ivanov in order to receive the mandate. “Respected citizens, members of the press, respected President of the Republic of Macedonia. Allow me to express my gratitude as the mandate holder and to once again say that the two obstacles that prevented the awarding of the mandate have been removed. The Speaker of the Parliament Talat Xhaferi sent his letter and, as I promised before the citizens and before President Gjorge Ivanov delivered a statement that will serve as a guarantee, and which is already delivered to the Office of the Preisdent Gjorge Ivanov. I would like to read it: In the name of the established parliamentary majority I make the following statement – We guarantee the protection of the unitary character, sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and the multi-ethnic character of the Republic of Macedonia. We guarantee to protect the constitutional order and the territorial unity of the Republic of Macedonia. We guarantee to preserve the national interests and to advance the life of all citizens, regardless of their ethnic, religious or linguistic background. We guarantee that the decision making process will be in accordance with the basic constitutional principles and the rule of law, without bringing the Republic of Macedonia in a position of dependence or subordination to another country. No document, platform, declaration, act or action which are contrary to the aforementioned positions can serve as conditions or basis to form the Government of the Republic of Macedonia”, Zaev said, after which President Ivanov gave him the mandate.
Zaev submitted 67 signatures – 49 from his SDSM party, 10 from the DUI party, five from BESA and three from the Alliance of Albanians. The latter three parties signed the Tirana platform, which calls for full official use of the Albanian language across the entire Macedonia, Albanian veto rights over public spending, changes to the name and other national emblems, an apology for genocide over the Albanians and other demands which sparked protests among ethnic Macedonians. President Ivanov said that, given that the platform was drafted in Tirana, it would put Macedonia in a subservient position towards the Republic of Albania and refused to give Zaev the mandate until he provides a written guarantee that he rejects the document.
The constitution says that once a representative of a party or a coalition that holds the majority in Parliament receives the mandate, he or she has 20 days to propose a list of Government ministers and a program before the Parliament for approval. Failure to do so leads to the return of the mandate.
In the end, perhaps expected, Ivanov too sold out the country.