Home Page
News 12 May 14

Macedonian President's Inauguration Marred by Boycott

The opposition and the largest Albanian party boycotted the inauguration of Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov for his second five-year term amid continuing political disputes.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov | Photo by: president.gov.mk

The inaugural session in parliament on Monday was held in a half-empty hall, with almost the entire opposition and the junior ruling Albanian party, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, refusing to attend.

There were also no foreign dignitaries present at the inauguration, with only the representatives of the diplomatic corps joining MPs from the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Ivanov was the VMRO DPMNE candidate in last month’s presidential polls, which were held simultaneously with a parliamentary vote that saw the ruling party win 61 of the 123 seats. The opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, alleged that the vote was fraudulent and refused to recognise it.

The only other party present in parliament for Ivanov’s inauguration was the opposition Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA, which has seven MPs.

In his speech, Ivanov called on his opponents to end their resistance.

“I call for narrow political party interests to be overcome. I call on the opposition to be true to democratic principles. Democracy functions when the rules of play and the constitution are respected,” he said.

The absence of the opposition led by the SDSM was expected.

Since losing in both the general and presidential elections, which the party has blamed on election fraud, the SDSM has refused to take up its 34 seats in parliament. It has instead demanded the formation of a caretaker government that would carry out fresh elections.

The junior ruling DUI party, which won most votes in the Albanian political bloc, also boycotted the event despite the fact that the DUI is currently holding talks with VMRO DPMNE on the formation of the new government.

“One has nothing to do with the other. These are two different institutions,” explained Artan Grubi, the chief of DUI’s head Ali Ahmeti’s office.

The DUI, which has been part of the VMRO DPMNE-led government since 2008, and which controls 19 MPs, has said that it will not recognize Ivanov as president because of the way he was elected.

The DUI boycotted the presidential polls, having demanded the selection of a “consensus president” who would be elected in parliament following an agreement between the strongest parties in the Macedonian and Albanian blocs.

The two ruling parties used this disagreement as an official reason for setting up the parallel general elections.

Meanwhile parliamentary speaker Trajko Veljanovski was re-elected to his post at the inaugural session of the new parliament on Saturday. The opposition did not take part at that session either, although the DUI was present.

At the weekend, the VMRO DPMNE and DUI said that the country’s economic progress and Euro-Atlantic path remain common denominators for their future cooperation, but they could not agree on the issue of the presidency.

“Some of the leaders of one political party insist on election of some kind of ‘consensus president’, a category that does not exist in the constitution, nor in the Ohrid Framework Accord,” Ivanov insisted during his inauguration speech.

The Ohrid agreement was signed in 2001 by the leading political parties in the country, ending that year’s brief armed conflict between the security forces and Albanian insurgents. Signed under international patronage, the accord granted greater rights to country’s Albanians, after which the insurgents disbanded and their leaders later formed the DUI.

The small ethnic Albanian National Democratic Rebirth party, NDR, also boycotted Ivanov’s inauguration. The NDR has decided to spurn the single seat it won in parliament, claiming election fraud.

After taking the presidency, Ivanov will now officially offer a mandate for the formation of a new government to the Prime Minister Gruevski. The deadline for the formation of the administration is June 16.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

News

opposition-cements-defiance-against-electoral-fraud

Macedonia Opposition Toughens Line on Poll Fraud

Following its allegations of fraud in Macedonia's general and presidential elections, the opposition has confirmed its decision not to take up seats in the new parliament.

macedonia-opposition-refuses-to-take-up-seats-in-parliament

Macedonia Opposition Spurn Seats in Parliament

The board of the opposition Social Democrats said the party will not take up its seats in parliament following its defeat in Sunday's elections, which the party blames on fraud.

macedonia-ruling-parties-sued-for-cash-payment-amid-elections

Macedonian Parties Sued For Paying Cash in Elections

An anti-corruption watchdog is filing criminal charges against Macedonia’s ruling parties for allegedly making illegal cash payments and misusing municipal funds in the recent elections and in those held last year.

opposition-decides-on-next-steps-in-macedonia-s-disputed-election

Macedonia Opposition Mull Next Steps After Poll Defeat

Opposition Social Democrats are to consider whether to refuse to take up their seats in parliament following their defeat in Sunday general and presidential elections, which the party blames on electoral fraud.

osce-sees-reoccurring-shortcomings-in-macedonia-elections

OSCE Criticises Macedonia Over Election Shortcomings

International observers said Macedonia “failed to meet important OSCE commitments” during the presidential and parliamentary election campaign, overshadowing a well-run polling day.

macedonia-ruling-party-triumphs-in-disputed-polls

Macedonia Ruling Party Triumphs in Disputed Polls

The ruling VMRO DPMNE party and its incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov won crushing victories in Sunday’s vote but the opposition alleged violations and refused to recognise the elections.

polls-close-in-macedonia-s-double-elections

Macedonia Vote Marred by Opposition Fraud Claims

The ruling VMRO DPMNE party and incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov claimed a resounding victory in the elections - but the opposition alleged poll violations and has refused to recognise the result.

polls-open-in-macedonia-double-elections

Polls Open in Macedonia's Double Elections

A total of 3,480 polling stations opened at 7am on Sunday for Macedonia’s general and second round of presidential elections, in which almost 1.8 million people have a right to vote.

macedonia-set-for-pre-election-silence-amid-fraud-fears

Election Campaigning Ceases in Macedonia

The pre-election silence ahead of Sunday's general and presidential elections began on Friday, overshadowed by opposition allegations of election fraud and threats that it may not recognise the result.

macedonian-opposition-hints-disputing-election-results

Macedonian Opposition May Dispute Election Results

As it heads towards likely defeat on Sunday, Macedonia's opposition Social Democratic Party said it might not recognise the results of the April 27 presidential and general elections.

Live Blog

Macedonia Elections: Up to the Hour Updates

Stay tuned for all the latest developments, election results and reactions as Macedonia goes to the polls to elect a new government and head of state.

Background

Macedonia Elections Profile

In April, Macedonia will hold parallel presidential and early general elections - the latter considered more important as they will determine who will hold the most powerful post in the country, that of the Prime Minister.