Following President Gjorge Ivanov’s refusal to sign laws passed through Parliament stamped with the name “Republic of North Macedonia”, Speaker Talat Xhaferi said that those laws adopted with a two thirds majority will be sent to the Official Gazette for publication, while the rest will be brought back before the Parliament.

Xhaferi already signed several laws, including the constitutional amendments that rename Macedonia into North Macedonia, and the law on the use of the Albanian language, instead of President Ivanov, despite clear Constitutional Court precedent that this is unacceptable. It is likely that, until a new President is elected in late April/early May, and he or she takes a position on the name of the country, more laws will be published with Xhaferi’s signature.

I will sign the laws in the place where my signature is required. In the laws adopted with a majority of two thirds of the total seats in Parliament, the President is required to sign them within seven days and they can’t be returned to a parliamentary new procedure and will be considered adopted. As for the other laws, I’m required to bring them back before the Parliament within 30 days, said Xhaferi.

He insisted that the delays will not affect Macedonia’s EU accession process, even though some of the laws which are before Parliament are expected to influence the decision of the European Commission and Council on whether the country can open accession talks.

Ivanov has refused to sign 15 laws, most of them adopted without the two thirds majority.