The decision of the Zaev regime to order changes to the identity cards without regulating their template by law is suspending the Parliament. For months the Interior Ministry stopped issuing new identity cards, presumably under pressure from Greece which wants Macedonia to use the imposed name “North Macedonia” in the documents. This left some 30,000 citizens without a crucial document needed to conduct any business.
With the law stuck due to political infighting in the Parliament, which Zaev was unable to overcome with his insufficient majority, the Government today announced that it will begin issuing documents under the imposed name anyway.
One aspect of the problem is the coming local election, and the growing fears that tens of thousands of citizens won’t be allowed to vote without documents. It is likely driving the shocking decision of the Government to violate the law and order the Interior Ministry to adopt by-laws that would dictate the new template of the identity cards. But a Government Ministry can’t adopt by-laws that are contrary to the law.
It remains to be seen whether the new template will also be used to implement another nationalist demand – from Zaev’s Albanian coalition partners. The documents will likely begin to declare the ethnic identity of the carrier, as Albanian parties have long demanded. It’s unclear how Greece will react to this move, as, by definition, the document will also have to declare the Macedonian identity of most citizens – a move that Greece is likely to resist.