SDSM came out this evening with a claim that the law on the Council of prosecutors, that was adopted irregularly this evening, was legitimate. It was the second major issue with Zoran Zaev’s continued take-over of the judiciary.
First the Parliament failed to adopt the PPO law on state prosecutors, which Zaev planned to use to entrench his loyalists in key positions, and to ban the use of wiretaps in future cases, presumably against him given the numerous criminal scandals of the past several years. After the failed vote, the Parliament was ordered to vote again, in an illegitimate do-over, and the law was declared approved with 80 votes, one short of the necessary two thirds majority.
And afterwards, a supplemental law on the Council of prosecutors, which is necessary for the PPO law, was put to a vote. Speaker Talat Xhaferi announced it will have to be approved under the Badinter rule, which means it will require a separate vote by the ethnic minority members of Parliament, and a majority of their votes will be necessary. But Xhaferi forgot to hold the Badinter vote. Zaev’s loyalist, President Stevo Pendarovski, was quick to sign both laws into force, but the way they were adoped opens them to easy challenge in the Constitutional Court and the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party held a press conference to declare them invalid.
Jovan Mitreski, the head of the SDSM group in Parilament, came out to deny any issues with the laws, and in the case of the law on the Council of prosecutors, he claimed that in the past such laws were amended without the Badinter rule. But he forgot that SDSM made a list of concessions to the ethnic Albanian parties in order to get their votes for the necessary two thirds majority. These included adding a reference to the law on the Albanian language in the very first article of the law on the Council of prosecutors, which in turn means that the law has to be adopted under the Badinter rule as it touches upon collective minority rights. Ilija Dimovski from VMRO-DPMNE said that it is this article that makes the Badinter rule unavoidable in the adoption of the law.
SDSM accepted everything that the Albanian parties came up with. It just shows how desperately SDSM needed law that they hope will pardon them in the future for the crimes they did over the past years, Dimovski replied to Mitreski.