Parliament Dissolves after Adoption of PPO Law and Several Other Texts

On Sunday, Parliament adopted the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) Law and the changes to the Defence and Public Prosecutors Council Laws. There was a tense atmosphere during the vote on the PPO document. At the start, 74 MPs voted in favour, whereas 32 were against. Speaker Talat Xhaferi annulled the vote because MP Liljana Popovska had previously requested to speak, while other MPs, too, said their vote hadn’t been registered. Afterwards, the document was supported by 80 MPs, whereas six were against. VMRO-DPMNE MP Nikola Micevski reacted, urging Xhaferi to annul the second vote, too. “What you’re doing is embarrassing. Criminals,” he said, adding that all further actions would represent a violation of the Constitution. During the one-hour break that followed, Hristijan Mickoski’s party described the adoption as illegal and criminal, urging President Stevo Pendarovski not to sign it. Micevski said his party would afterwards attend only the session for Parliament’s dissolution. After the break, Parliament adopted the two other documents, that is, the changes to the Defence and Public Prosecutors Council Laws. VMRO-DPMNE, as previously announced, wasn’t in attendance. MP Nola Ismajloska Starova, who is part of the independent group, said VMRO-DPMNE MPs should know that the Defence Law was substantial, adding that it would result in approximation with NATO standards. She called on the seven MPs from Hristijan Mickoski’s party that had voted in favour of the Law on Service in the Army to support the document. The opposition party’s MPs returned to the hall for the dissolution session. Parliament dissolved unanimously, which means that there are now conditions for the early elections to be held, as agreed, on 12 April.