VMRO-DPMNE Vice-President Aleksandar Nikoloski accussed the ruling SDSM party of being in rush to adopt a new law on state prosecutors that would guarantee its continued control over this vital element of the judiciary, for when SDSM lands in the opposition in April. The law is stalled in Parliament despite calls from the EU that it is adopted by February 11, as SDSM rejects the largely overlapping proposals from VMRO and from criminal law experts.
All SDSM has to do is listen to the opinion of the professors, of the experts who took part in the public debate in the Parliament, which are by and large the same as the proposals made by VMRO-DPMNE. Not that we are in some kind of communication with these experts but these are sustained and well grounded ideas who would allow us to have a really objective and efficient prosecution service. Unfortunately that is not what Zoran Zaev is after. He is faced with elections he is more and more certain to lose and is thinking how he can extend his influence over the prosecutors to protect himself while he is in opposition, Nikoloski said.
SDSM demands that the new unit of prosecutors tasked with investigating crimes of top officials is not allowed to look into his near three years in office, during which dozens of major corruption scandals have come to the surface. This is just one of the clauses which experts fear would allow SDSM to escape scrutiny for its corruption while carrying out a politically motivated campaign of persecution against the opposition.
Zaev recently pleaded with the other parties to give him the two thirds majority in Parliament for the draft, such as he proposed it.
It would be a welcome move, let’s give additional arguments to the Enlargement Commissioner and the EU member statesso that they can reach a decision about “our country” in May in Zagreb. It would be good if we adopted the law. And even if we don’t we’ll just have to do so after the elections. Let’s help “our state”, Zaev said.
VMRO leader Hristijan Mickoski listed nine serious objections to the draft text and said that, if as result of the discussion the draft is amended, he will call on the VMRO members in Parliament to support the new text. Mickoski’s objections also include the weakening of the position of the Council of public prosecutors in favor of the Government, Zaev’s attempt to ensure Joveski remains as Public Prosecutor even if SDSM loses power in April and attempts to allow further use of unwarranted wiretaps as evidence.
We conducted broad consultations with experts and our proposals will ensure that we have a truly reform oriented law, instead of the proposal that would help cover up Zoran Zaev’s crimes after April 12, Mickoski said.
For months SDSM insisted that the crisis in the judiciary was overcome by its highly illegal move to get disgraced former Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva to abolish its SPO office from prison, with several handwritten notes that were used to transfer all SPO cases to the larger OJO service – which is also under total SDSM control. But the patch up is falling apart as the EU calls for a serious reform to the judiciary.