Sunday, 24 October 2021 | News today: 0

“North Macedonia” amendments move into the next, final stage of adoption

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The Macedonian Government organized several debates on the four proposed Constitutional amendments which will rename Macedonia into North Macedonia. Despite the fact that only supporters of the deal attended the debates, and the only criticism was unintentional, the Government believes that this meets its obligation to hold a round of public discussions on the proposal, and that the amendments can now move to the next stage, which is submitting them to committees in Parliament. Speaker Talat Xhaferi announced this will begin on December 17th. This is when members of Parliament can submit proposals to change the amendments. Xhaferi said that he hopes to have a full session scheduled by January 9th, and a vote on January 15th.

At this vote, the Government would again need to have at least 80 or 81 votes, depending on the various interpretations of the Constitution, for the amendments to be adopted. Eight VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament, most of whom face various criminal charges initiated by the SDSM led Government, provided the 80 votes which the Government used to open the process, but they are still negotiating an amnesty law for them, which is seen as crucial as to whether they will vote in favor of the amendments again.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that he is an optimist that the votes will be found, and reiterated on Monday that, if Greece doesn’t live up to its own obligations and again blocks Macedonia on its way to the EU, the deal will be reversed.

The amendments will be up for debate in the Committee on constitutional affairs and the Committee on legal and legislative affairs. These debates can last up to three days, with strict time limits on how long a member of Parliament or head of a party group can speak. There are also limits on speaking time during the full session.