As the Parliament convened to discuss a proposal from SDSM and DUI to re-appoint Talat Xhaferi as Speaker, opposition representatives came out to voice their protest. Nikola Micevski from VMRO-DPMNE said that the largest party in Parliament won’t support Xhaferi’s nomination.

While Xhaferi was Speaker in the previous Parliament, he persistently violated the rules of Parliament and had 40 percent of all laws adopted under the expedited procedure, denying the opposition the right to debate the laws.

Antonio Milososki from VMRO-DPMNE also said that Xhaferi abused parliamentary rules, such as pushing forward a bill in 2019 to expand the growing of marijuana that was clearly meant to advance the business interests of the Zaev family. This was done under a procedure that is put in place to quickly advance laws meant to align Macedonia with the laws of the EU.

There were many laws adopted under this procedure that had no connection to the EU. Xhaferi did not show that he has credibility to resist this abuse, and I doubt he will have credibility in the future, Milososki said.

The Alliance of Albanians also voiced its opposition, accusing Xhaferi’s DUI party of stealing the votes of ethnic Albanians at the chaotic July 15 elections.

SDSM, DUI, BESA and DPA should be able to pool together the bare minimum of 61 votes needed to elect Xhaferi as Speaker. The election of the next Government is less certain, given that factions within DUI are feuding over the division of spoils in the next Government and representatives from the factions that lost out are saying they will support Xhaferi but not the Government as it is currently planned.