Parliamentary session for Constitutional amendments Starts

On Wednesday, PM Zoran Zaev explained the constitutional amendments at a parliamentary session. He reiterated the stand that it guarantees, among other things, the Macedonian language and identity. According to Zaev, voting against the changes means supporting isolation and uncertainty. As the PM added, the world is watching and expecting statesmanlike responsibility as opposed to party affiliation. “We’ve had an inclusive process in all stages of the constitutional amendments,” he said, thanking the SDSM-led coalition, DUI, DPA, BESA and the eight independent MPs from VMRO-DPMNE. In that regard, the PM described the eight persons as a constructive part of the opposition, unlike the rest, and especially thanked Panco Minov for his contribution to the proposals included in the amendments, as well as Bilall Kasami’s BESA and Ziadin Sela’s Alliance for Albanians. VMRO-DPMNE and the two MPs from Kasami’s BESA didn’t attend the session. MP Amdi Bajram, who had been at the previous session that day, didn’t attend the one for the amendments either. MPs told SAKAMDAKAZAM.MK that he had used the break to go home in the settlement of Suto Orizari and that he hadn’t been able to return to Parliament because of the snow. DOM’s Liljana Popovska, too, was absent because she was sick. Before the session, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski had delivered an address before Parliament. In his speech, he said his party’s MPs wouldn’t participate in the final parliamentary debate on the constitutional changes in order not to give legitimacy to the whole process for changes to the Constitution. Afterwards, he and part of his party’s members joined the protest organised by Hardcores and Macedonia is Blocking, but refused to deliver a speech on the stage despite being called by the organisers. Police detained two protesters because they tried to break through the fence. Before the start of the session, SDSM MP and Sec Gen Aleksandar Kiracovski had said the support of at least 80 MPs for adoption of the changes had been secured. Both the parliamentary session and the protest will continue on Wednesday.