Friday, 15 December 2017 | News today: 8

Gruevski: I will render my resignation to the party’s bodies

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, in an interview with KURIR announced that he would render his resignation before the party’s bodies. He says that one day SDSM will regret doing this, and the people will take the state into their own hands.

Recently you held a press conference to express revolt over the detention of 36 people who were charged with terrorism for their involvement in the events of 27 April 2017 in Parliament. The court ordered detentions, and you organized protests. What are your next steps?

GRUEVSKI: We will decide on all next steps together in the party. We also have daily meetings of the parliamentary group. But it is clear that this is a construction of the highest rank. The storming in Parliament and especially the use of physical force was a mistake and I was the first politician who publicly, first through social networks, called for calm and then condemned the incident at a press conference. On the other hand, it is clear that it was a reaction to action, that is, a reaction to the illegal election of the Parliament Speaker, which it seems to have been deliberately timed at a time when citizens held one-hour-long protests in front of the Parliament’s building, which until that moment for 60 days were peaceful and without incidents. The people who were provoked and who stormed the Parliament probably thought that they would help the state, and actually driven by emotions, fell on someone’s trap. They stormed the building from patriotic impulses. After a few months when we saw that a large number of convicted criminals were released, when the amnesty law was announced that would pardon over 1000 prisoners, including many convicted of causing serious bodily harm, it became clear that we have selective justice in the country implemented by this Government, and when it is already so, it is good to make a universal reconciliation, by law to exempt from prosecution those persons who stormed the Parliament, and to focus on the country’s progress and reforms instead of getting stuck in the past. In fact, such laws have been adopted in the past by all parties.

Instead, you received a response with the arrest of 37 people, including detention for six MPs of VMRO-DPMNE and the Coalition…

GRUEVSKI: This action of the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office is a classic political and party revanchism of SDSM against VMRO-DPMNE and the Coalition. Firstly, a legal unfounded qualification was given to the event  – terrorism, a crime which carries a prison sentence of 10 years in prison up to life imprisonment. The court requested to strip six MPs of their immunity because the Prosecutor’s Office ordered detention. Brutally, in a draconian manner, unlawfully, unrealistically and inhumanly. With this act, officially Macedonia got a regime. People, artists, actors, directors, opera singers, architects were arrested, who might have only seen fake weapons in theater play or on a movie, and they were labeled as terrorists. Absurd. The former interior minister was put in detention with people dangerous for his life, who suffered a heart attack and had heart surgery 3 months ago. Along with him, some of his associates and police professionals were detained, who refused to make false transcripts and give false statements. Ruthlessly. Complete madness. Secretaries and employees of the Parliament were detained, who are charged with terrorism for making some mimics or gestures.

And all that 7 months after the event. If they wanted to flee, they had enough time. If they wanted to influence witnesses, they had enough time for that too. They cannot repeat the crime that does not exist, I conditionally say it, because these are the three conditions for determining detention.

In fact, most of these people not only should not be detained, they also should not be accused or suspected. The lawmakers were at their jobs in the Parliament, they were not with bombs or rifles in their hands. The Director of the Public Security Bureau, was held accountable, and the Minister did not. The people who stormed the Parliament with state flags of Macedonia and who sang songs and did not kill were named terrorists. Huge absurdities.

What do you think is the purpose of all this?

GRUEVSKI: The purpose is to attack VMRO-DPMNE as a party which takes care of the national interests of the Macedonians and all citizens in Macedonia. To weaken the party and its influence, so that it cannot operate at full capacity in the future. The purpose is to draw attention from other processes that follow. The purpose is to scare the people and not react to anything, whatever happens. But, very brutal and merciless.

Many legal proceedings have been violated, including the brutal and unlawful deprivation of liberty of the MPs before Parliament decides on their immunity. They were taken with handcuffs to the court where they were kept for most of the day. Extremely undemocratic. Democracy has been compromised. The state is led in a revengeful manner by politicians driven by anger and hatred. Without elemental humanity when they have some political goals.

Maybe now it seems to them that it will pass and will be forgotten, that they will be in power for a long time, but times will change and one day they will deeply regret it.

The people will return the state.

Do you expect NATO invitation and start of accession negotiations with the EU?

GRUEVSKI: I expect and wish. That’s what the country needs. But these steps drift us away from that.Arresting 5 percent of MPs in Parliament or 10 percent of MPs of VMRO-DPMNE and the Coalition, presenting them as terrorists, intimidating them in their homes in front of their children’s eyes, detaining innocent people, actors, directors, opera singers etc., portraying them as terrorists, just because they politically disagree with you, that is not europeanization.

The government in the past period did not implement reforms, only talked about them. It deals with witchhunt and political constructions against the members and supporters of VMRO-DPMNE, in order to weaken it in such a way. So far over 140 people have been attacked by various government institutions. Ther has not been such a persecution since 1949.

VMRO-DPMNE will survive this. Macedonia too. But there will be consequences.

In your last interview, you said that an analysis of the election defeat is under way. In the public the main question is whether Nikola Gruevski will remain president of VMRO-DPMNE or not. Will this depend on the outcome of that analysis?

GRUEVSKI: After the completion of the first round of local elections I said that the party leader bore the biggest responsibility for the election results. Then in a television interview, I explained that always in a team that is competing, whether it is political, sports, business or the like, the biggest responsibility by definition is borne by the leader. Those who know me well and those who understand political messages understand me. Regardless of the outcome of the party’s analysis of the municipal election results, even if it determines that my contribution to the defeat is minor or non-existent, I’ll nonetheless render my resignation to the party’s bodies.

Afterwords, in line with the VMRO-DPMNE statute the party will organize an extraordinary congress for election of a new leader.

I meant it on October 15 evening, but because of the elections, I said it with a political dictionary. I mean it now, and since both rounds of the elections passed, the emotions of the campaign have subsided, and I can say it directly.

This step is part of my basic principles and values.

I also hope that this move will contribute to resolving the current political situation.

When do you expect the analysis to be completed and will the resignation follow it?

GRUEVSKI: The analysis will probably need another week or two, and the resignation may or may not be related to its completion, as it is not related to its outcome.

When will the party congress be held?

GRUEVSKI: The party’s bodies will decide it.