Wednesday, 19 December 2018 | News today: 16

President Ivanov says the Government is using the courts to pressure him on the renaming treaty


Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said that the several days of courthouse hearings in which witnesses blamed members from his staff for the April 27th incident in the Parliament are part of the campaign of pressure and intimidation aimed at him, trying to force him to yield and support the process to rename Macedonia into North Macedonia.

– For a year and a half, I and my team are permanently targetted by fake news and false allegations. These threats and pressures are attempts to get me to back off from my strongly held positions on the political developments in the Republic of Macedonia and the policies of the current Government. For the myriad time, I tell them that I will not abandon my positions, President Ivanov said in a late afternoon press conference.

The President listed a number of previous allegations which were proven false, such as that he was preparing an old Communist era fortified complex in a plan to declare martial law, or that his Office invited a foreign intelligence agent to the Parliament and pointed that even pro-Government prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska acknowledged that there is no evidence about any involvement of the Office of the President or the army in the incident in the Parliament. President Ivanov blamed the UBK secret police service and its permanent involvement in political developments in Macedonia as the main security problem for the country.

– Two years ago I said that the UBK is the main inflamation point and the generator of all political and security crises in the Republic of Macedonia. Three years after the Priebe report said the same, this tumor has not been removed. If the UBK dares to wiretap the Office of the President and prepare false notes naming my activities, I fear what else is going on in this institution, Ivanov said, speaking of the case when a still classified UBK report which he says contained falsehoods was accepted by the court as evidence to order detention of two former VMRO-DPMNE officials, Mile Janakieski and Kiril Bozinovski.

President Ivanov denied that his Office was preparing to declare martial law or a state of emergency, which is one of the claims raised against him. He outlined the conditions needed to do so – an imminent military attack on the Republic, or a natural disaster – and said that none of them qualified on that evening.

Ivanov’s signature will be needed to complete the process of amending the Constitution and renaming Macedonia, and given that he is President until next spring, he said that the Government may try to have him charged or arrested, like so many other officials elected or appointed through the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party.

– They could do it, we see what is happening these days, President Ivanov answered a journalist who asked if he has been threatened with arrest. Asked whether the ruling majority in Parliament could initiate an impeachment proceeding against him, he said “they’re welcome to try”.

Earlier, his Office issued a press release after Ivanov’s fellow Law Faculty professor Ljubomir Frckoski, who was his opposing candidate in the 2009 presidential elections representing the SDSM party, called for Ivanov’s swift impeachment and trial.

– The public knows that you are the architect of the politicized police and criminalized security service in Macedonia, used to damage our national interests. I’m not like you. What you are has been described in detail in the memoirs by President Kiro Gligorov and Speaker Stojan Andov, Ivanov’s press release raid said, naming allegations from the former President and former Speaker against Frckoski that he was offering bribes from Greek agents to Gligorov in order to rename Macedonia and was involved in the 1995 assassination attempt against Gligorov.