UMD Position on President Ivanov Giving Mandate to Zoran Zaev

Yesterday, Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov imparted the mandate to form a new Macedonian government to the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev. Mr. Zaev provided assurances to the President that his Parliamentary majority will “guarantee the protection of the unitary character, sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and multi-ethnicity of the Republic of Macedonia.” Mr. Zaev further stated that he will “guarantee the protection of the Constitutional order and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia as a whole,” and that “no document, platform, declaration, act or action that go against the above mentioned positions shall and will not in any way be a condition or basis for the establishment and functioning of a Government of the Republic of Macedonia.” Mr. Zaev has twenty days to announce his Government, however, he has pledged to do so in only ten days.

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) believes yesterday’s action by President Ivanov is an opportunity to clean the negative political discourse that has plagued Macedonia for close to three years. UMD urges Mr. Zaev to guarantee the unitary territorial integrity and sovereignty of Macedonia and to put national interests before personal and party interests. We hope that Mr. Zaev and his team will thoroughly and properly screen all candidates for Government Ministerial roles, to ensure they meet the nation’s highest values, have no criminal backgrounds, and will uphold the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and defend its national interests, flag, anthem, and coat of arms.

UMD calls upon Mr. Zaev to create a Ministry of the Diaspora, which will form a permanent bond with the Macedonian Diaspora communities of all generations, and harness their skills and knowledge for the betterment of Macedonian society. Macedonia-Diaspora relations have flourished over the past decade and we hope these relations will only improve at the formation of such a ministry. A dedicated Diaspora is an incalculable asset for Macedonia and its best Ambassador abroad.

Mr. Zaev has the option of playing an important historic role in Macedonia’s future. UMD hopes he will seize this unique moment to improve Macedonia’s image abroad, by getting the country back on track for full Euro-Atlantic integration without any hindrances upon Macedonia’s name and identity. And furthermore, that he upholds its democratic governance and rule of law, and restructure and strengthen the health and educational systems, the economy including creating greater opportunities and jobs for the youth, and improving infrastructure within the country. UMD wants to use this opportunity to underscore need for restructuring the social care system to improve the situation of children and adults with special needs, orphans, and senior citizens.

UMD encourages Mr. Zaev to reach across the aisle to the opposition, VMRO-DPMNE, and resolve their endemic differences in order to move Macedonia forward. As we urged SDSM, when in opposition, we also urge VMRO-DPMNE to play a strong constructive opposition role to keep the Macedonian government accountable, transparent, and progressive.