Oliver Derkoski, the head of the State Electoral Commission (SEC) who yesterday warned the Government that it is not possible to hold elections on July 5, the date which the SDSM led Government insists on. Hours after Derkoski’s comments the Government issued a decree which SDSM insists will mandate the SEC to prepare for elections in early July, even as Macedonia is in the midst of the Second Wave of the coronavirus epidemic. Derkoski today said that he still hasn’t officially received the decree, that orders the Interior Ministry to vet the voting rolls – which is one of the issues the SEC raised.

We will give our opinion on the decree once we receive it. But note that a Government decree can’t change a matter that is regulated with the electoral code. The decree only has power until the end of the state of emergency, Derkoski said.

SDSM insists that once their loyalist, President Stevo Pendarovski, puts an end to the state of emergency, which can happen as early as this week, the elections automatically resume. But Derkoski responds that with the end of the state of emergency all Government decrees, including those mandating the SEC to violate the electoral code and prepare elections on July 5, are automatically null.

SDSM has refused to work with the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party toward a mutually acceptable election date that would be further away from the current corona peak and would add greater legitimacy to the elections.