VMRO-DPMNE spokesman Naum Stoilkovski warned that the opposition may call for a boycott of the census planned for next year if the Zaev Government insists to hold it without adhering to the basic European standards.
The draft law on the census was submitted to the Parliament without consulting the opposition, and the majority plans to ram it through the legislature under a fast track procedure meant for laws that align Macedonia with the European laws.
The speed with which the laws is pushed, without the proper time to discuss its clauses, has raised suspicions about its content and Zoran Zaev’s intentions, Stoilkovski said.
The attempt to hold a census in 2011 was cut short after objections from Albanian parties, who insisted that Albanians living abroad are counted as current residents. It’s a thorny issue given that the 2001 Ohrid peace treaty provided greater political clout for Albanians in areas where they amount to 20 percent of the total population. Given the high emigration rate, this percentage is doubtful in the Macedonia as a whole and in a series of municipalities.
Given Zaev’s reliance on Albanian voters and members of Parliament, it was announced that this new census will allow people to register their family members living abroad.