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Ruling, opposition MPs stick to their positions as Parliament continues debate

Parliament will resume Friday its session on debating a government motion to initiate changes to the Constitution. The ruling majority and the opposition stick to their built-in positions - ruling MPs urge the motion to be backed so as to open the doors for Macedonia toward NATO and the EU, while the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE calls 'unacceptable' the motion as well as the Prespa Agreement, which envisages the constitutional amendments.

Skopje, 19 October 2018 (MIA) – Parliament will resume Friday its session on debating a government motion to initiate changes to the Constitution. The ruling majority and the opposition stick to their built-in positions – ruling MPs urge the motion to be backed so as to open the doors for Macedonia toward NATO and the EU, while the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE calls ‘unacceptable’ the motion as well as the Prespa Agreement, which envisages the constitutional amendments.

If the debate on the government motion is concluded today, Parliament should proceed by putting the proposal to a vote. It is yet to be determined whether MPs will vote right after the debate or whether the vote will be scheduled at a later date. A two-third majority is required for the motion to be passed.

On Friday, some dozen MPs from the ruling majority are expected to address the session. Earlier this week, opposition lawmakers announced they would quit the debate and called on putting the motion to a vote immediately.

If the motion for initiating constitutional changes isn’t adopted in Parliament, it is highly likely that early parliamentary polls will be called. SDSM is pressing ahead with snap elections if attempts fail to secure a two-third majority in Parliament, whereas its government coalition partner DUI believes that elections offer no solution.

“There is no Plan B, only Plan A, which is Euro-Atlantic Republic of Macedonia, an integrated full-fledged member together with the whole western democratic world,” DUI MP Artan Grubi told a news conference.

President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Joseph Daul call on once again the opposition in Macedonia to act responsibly before voting in Parliament.

“Crucial decisions need to be taken in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that will be defining for future generations. The opposition has a big responsibility for the country’s EU-NATO path and need to be constructive in the democratic process,” Daul tweeted late on Thursday.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev yesterday said that Greece’s Premier Alexis Tsipras and himself remained strongly committed to the perspectives of the Balkans in the 21st century.

“A region of friendship, cooperation, economic growth and happier citizens, Zaev said referring to a telephone conversation with his Greek counterpart following the resignation of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

Zaev told reporters that Tsipras briefed him over the developments in Greece, saying he remained committed to the Prespa Agreement in the capacity of his additional post as foreign minister. ba/09:56

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