A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) ad hoc Committee for the observation of the presidential election and of the early parliamentary elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” was in Skopje on 10 July 2014.
The delegation, composed of Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), Head of the ad hoc Committee, and Robert Walter (United Kingdom, EDG), rapporteur of the Monitoring Committee, met with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, members of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” delegation to the PACE, leaders of the SDSM, DUI and DPA parties, with representatives of international organisations present in Skopje and with representatives of civil society.
Regarding the decision of recently-elected members of parliament of the SDSM party not to accept their mandates, the PACE delegation expressed its concern and noted that it also regretted the fact that the DUI party had boycotted the presidential election.
The delegation considers that the appropriate place for political confrontation is in the parliament and urges all political parties to work together to overcome all impediments to the effective functioning of the parliament. The serious shortcomings observed during the last elections can and should be addressed by the newly-elected parliament.
The delegation expressed the hope that both the opposition and the ruling party would live up to the confidence placed in them by the voters, that they would fully exercise their mandate in the parliament and contribute to the resolution of the crisis in the political life of the country which had followed the elections. The delegation also stressed the need to defuse the current inter-ethnic tensions which, although not directly linked to the electoral process, are seriously undermining the cohesion of a society highly polarised along both political and ethnic lines.
The Council of Europe, including the Parliamentary Assembly and the Venice Commission, stands ready to assist the stakeholders in finding a solution.