Thursday, July 24, 2008

Macedonia Opposition Resumes Boycott

Macedonia's main opposition Social Democrats will stay outside parliament due to the 'ignorant attitude' of the parties in power, their leader claims.

Radmila Sekerinska said her announcement follows the apparent non-transparent adoption of a parliamentary rulebook that was voted by the majority led by the centre right VMRO-DPMNE last week.

“What happened last week with the voting of the rulebook over night, without any debate, proved us right,” Sekerinska told media. “The ruling majority does not want a different opinion. They want the obedient raising of hands without even reading the bills and that is why they will stay without the participation of the opposition.”

The party presidency was deciding last evening whether to end their boycott which began last Thursday when their vice president Zoran Zaev was arrested in front of television cameras under charges of misuse of office in the south eastern town of Strumica where he is a mayor.

The court decided not to detain Zaev but the Social Democrats claimed that the whole case was a provocation by the parties in power. Zaev was mentioned as one of the possible successor's to Sekerinska after she announced she was stepping down over the party’s crushing defeat at the June 1 general elections.

The European Commission however criticised the Social Democrats for their boycott of Parliament and asked for their return.

If the Social Democrats keep up their action, the parliament will practically be left without any opposition lawmakers as last week, the main ethnic Albanian opposition, the Democratic Party of Albanians also left the assembly arguing they will return when the issues concerning greater rights for their community are addressed properly.

In June the ruling centre right VMRO DPMNE-led coalition beat the Social Democrats by winning 63 deputy seats while the Social Democrats alliance secured only 27 out of the 120 parliament seats.

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