VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski said that the proposals of vetting of the judicial appointees, such as is being pushed by the Zaev regime, is not a good option and will not ensure an independent branch of Government. Zaev is pushing for an Albanian style vetting of judges and prosecutors, a proposal that comes after the major Katica Janeva scandal, which exposed the judiciary, especially its people most loyal to Zaev, as thoroughly corrupt.

Based on the information I have from foreign, EU officials, they are not very happy with the vetting process as conducted in Albania, and they would even propose to me that we steer clear of that idea. That is why I was surprised when one international representative (Vera Jourova) endorsed it yesterday. We can’t have an independent judiciary if the Prime Minister dares to pressure his coalition partner to secure the appointment of certain judges or rendering of their verdicts. We can’t have an independent judiciary if the Prime Minister himself leads the body meant to reform the judiciary. Or if we have a person as Prime Minister who was seen by the entire country as he is asking for a bribe and blackmails people. Such a person can’t deliver an independent judiciary, Mickoski said.

The opposition leader pointed to the example of the “much celebrated” Special Prosecutor’s Office, which is now falling apart, “ingloriously mixed up with fraud, blackmail and crime”.

If some people find the word vetting interesting and like using it, fine, but we will propose a reform that will ensure actual independence of the judges and the prosecutors, Mickoski added.