Macedonian opposition leader Zaev to attend Brussels talks

Macedonia’s opposition leader Zoran Zaev says he will attend negotiations to end country’s political crisis in Brussels

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Macedonia’s Social Democrat opposition party leader Zoran Zaev reversed a previous decision not to attend negotiations over Macedonia’s political crisis after speaking with EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s in a phone call.

Zaev said on Friday he was pulling out of the June 10 negotiations mediated by the European Union in a bid to end months of political turmoil in Macedonia.

The main reason Zaev originally did not want to attend the meeting was the speech of Hahn, who when answering a question about Macedonia’s 2014 elections told the Atlantic Council the last election was “monitored by the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe]" and was in general a "positive report.”

After Zaev aired his criticism, Hahn called him on the phone to clarify an issue relating to the cross-party dialogue facilitated by the EU, furthering the agreement reached in Skopje on Tuesday, June 2.

Hahn also reiterated that he fully and unequivocally supports the assessment of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the principal institution of the OSCE, of the Presidential and early Parliamentary elections in Macedonia in 2014.

Moreover, Hahn stressed in the phone call on several occasions the need to investigate all potential wrongdoing arising from the wiretaps, including those related to election fraud.

“So, there is a huge scandal, which nobody can ignore. If there are 22.000 wire tapes, this is not something, which can be ignored, there is a huge scandal, not to speak about the content which was wiretapped, which is something else,” Hahn told the Atlantic Council.

The Commissioner called for opposition parties to return back to the National Assembly of Macedonia. The opposition MPs have boycotted the Macedonian parliament since June 2014. The first boycott came after both Social Democrat MPs and journalists were thrown out from parliament for brawling on 24 December 2012 - a day which has since been called “Black Monday.”

TRTWorld and agencies