SDSM: Appointment of Kovacki as Interior Minister Violates Constitution

PM and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski in the government in order to discuss the formation of the technical government which is to start functioning on 4 January 2020. At the meeting, Mickoski has promoted as candidate for Interior Minister in the technical government Dragan Kovacki, a professional from the field of defence and military. Kovacki was previously a Commander of the First Mechanical Brigade, and was dismissed from the position by President Stevo Pendarovski after a disputable promotion granted by former President Gjorge Ivanov. VMRO-DPMNE leader Mickoski claims that their suggestion for Interior Minister is a great professional with a rather impressive biography. Mickoski met DUI leader Ali Ahmeti in the parliament before meeting Zaev, and said that their suggestion for new Interior Minister has been accepted by DUI. “We introduced our candidate to the DUI management. In the following days, we will also meet with representatives of the other political parties and we hope our candidate will earn their support. We also want to hear their suggestions, which are of course more than welcome if they contribute to the democratic development of electoral processes,” Mickoski said after his meeting with Ahmeti. Asked by journalists about the Draft-changes to the Electoral Code of Macedonia, Mickoski said that this issue can be discussed only after the snap election in April 2020. The other candidates for ministers in the technical government VMRO-DPMNE will announce on Monday. PM Zoran Zaev said that the suggestion for Kovacki to be Interior Minister in the technical government is not acceptable, citing Article 97 of the Constitution of Macedonia and several other laws. This position was officially confirmed by SDSM via an announcement. “According to Article 97 of the Constitution of North Macedonia, the person appointed for Interior Minister or Defence Minister must not occupy an official position of the state for at least 3 years before election is held. This means that the suggestion of VMRO-DPMNE, Dragan Kovacki, who is an army official cannot be appointed Interior Minister in the technical government. Violation of the Constitution must not become a practice, which is why we call upon VMRO-DPMNE to come up with another suggestion for the position of Interior Minister in the technical government,” writes the announcement of SDSM. This was followed by a reaction from Mickoski. “It is clear that those who have committed crimes are now afraid that a professional and independent person will take over the Interior Ministry and that their crimes will be discovered. The obstruction of this process will not delay the defeat of SDSM, but it will make it even bigger and more shameful,” Mickoski writes on Facebook.