The two SDSM members of Parliament who came to vote yesterday in hazmat suits while positive to the coronavirus, abused a security protocol that was put in place for different cases.

The protocol from last summer allows members of Parliament to vote from a separate hall in the Parliament and to arrive their in protective gear. But the protocol was developed for representatives who were not yet diagnosed with the virus – but simply ordered into isolation after being suspected of infection. Both Bisera Kostadinovska Stojcevska from SDSM and Miroslav Bogdanovski from the SDSM aligned DOM party were already diagnosed with the virus when they came to the Parliament. A third member of Parliament – Snezana Kalevska Vanceva from SDSM – was also present after being allowed out of isolation on Sunday.

According to the protocol, Kostadinovska and Bogdanovski clearly violated the mandatory isolation order when they came to the Parliament. The only exemption allowing a person ordered into isolation to leave the home is when immediate healthcare is needed. This opens both members of Parliament to criminal liability.

In the end their votes were not necessary – the opposition has offered to provide the thin ruling “majority” with the votes it needed to adopt the proposed stimulus bill which thousands of companies hit by the epidemic are eagerly awaiting as it will provide public subsidies for the payment of salaries to their employees. The bill was adopted with an overwhelming majority across all parties. But SDSM wanted to show that it still has a functioning majority in the Parliament, and also tried to add additional bills onto the agenda – bills which the opposition did not agree with.