VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski announced that the party will begin gathering signatures from its supporters in order to propose a new census law. The Constitution allows 10,000 citizens to propose a new law, and while VMRO-DPMNE can make the proposal through a member of Parliament, this option is meant to show that a huge portion of the public is opposed to the census law, as it is now being enforced.
The ruling SDSM and DUI parties, supported by the ethnic Albanian opposition, want to hold a census in April and to allow emigrants to be counted along with the full time residents. This is a key demand from the ethnic Albanian parties who fear that otherwise their share of the population may drop significantly.
The majority rejected four dozen proposals from VMRO meant to ensure the accuracy of the census, such as the request to have fingerprint devices used to make sure there is no double counting of citizens. President Pendarovski declared that he will consult experts on the law, but as soon as Prime Minister Zaev and US Ambassador Byrnes declared their support for the proposal, he quickly signed it into law. VMRO alleges that SDSM and DUI will allow census irregularities meant to ensure that the Albanian share of the population is at or above the 25 percent level that was registered in the also controversial 2002 census.