Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said on Wednesday that he will not give the mandate to form a new Government until the main political obstacle is removed. Ivanov refused to give the mandate to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, asking him to first renounce the controversial Tirana platform which President Ivanov says is unconstitutional and would put Macedonia in a subservient position to Albania.
“So long as these obstacles are not removed, I can’t make a decision that will later be challenged. If I make the decision and it is challenged, that would also lead to responsibility on my part. Therefore I demand and insist that all legal and political obstacles are removed”, said President Ivanov, after his meeting with Bosnian Presidency Chairman Mladen Ivanic.
President Ivanov was asked by the press whether he feels personal responsibility to help resolve the political crisis, and responded that the crisis was caused by the decision to introduce the Tirana platform in the Macedonian politics.
“We resolved one political crisis with the elections of December 11th, but then we got a crisis of our institutions with the platform. I continue to respet everything that the Constitution demands from me and I also follow the decisions of the Constitutional Court. I respect the practice that was established in 1992. I have said so to all the party representatives that came for consultations. We need to respect the Constitution, the deadlines it contains and the 1992 precedent. Any decision made outside of these lines would call for my responsibility. I remain under oath and I will respect the constitutional order of the Republic of Macedonia”, Ivanov added.
During his meeting with Presidency Chairman Ivanic, the two leaders discussed the regional political situation and European integrations. President Ivanov said that the situation in the region would have been different, if the EU had opened accession chapters 23 and 24 that cover rule of law and security issues. Ivanov said that the way EU has handled the Macedonian accession remains a study in how not to conduct the integration, and has led to a drop in confidence among citizens who feel the lack of a European perspective.
“This is why we call on the Union to show creativity and to find a way to open chapters 23 and 24 of the accession process”, ivanov said.
Ivanic said that he is confident that President Ivanov will make the best judgement calls for the stability and prosperity of Macedonia. Regarding the Bosnian experience with the Union, Ivanic said that it was marred by a lot of formalities and lack of commitment, but that the migrant crisis has caused the EU to take a clearer and more honest look at the Balkans.
Ivanov and Ivanic agreed on the need to maintain the territorial integrity of Bosnia and to keep open the European integration perspectives. During Ivanic’s visit to Skopje, a business forum will be held for Macedonian and Bosnian companies. The two leaders also discussed the option of introducing direct Skopje – Sarajevo flights and of allowing travel without the use of passports, with identification cards only.