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Taking into account the recent developments and the dynamics of the Macedonian political crisis, first and foremost the Decision made by the President Gjorge Ivanov to pardon persons against whom pre-investigative and investigative proceedings have been instigated on crimes related to abuse of office and power, as well as the Decision to dissolve the Parliament and call for early parliamentary elections on  June 5, 2016 and all subsequent decisions of the State Election Commission, in the run-up to the announced negotiations between the four main political parties in Vienna on April 22, 2016, the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje (IDSCS) appeals to the representatives of the international community involved as mediators in resolving the political crisis, to the President of the Republic of Macedonia and the political leaders of VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, DUI and DPA, and certain institutions,  in their forthcoming actions to take into account the following remarks:

All efforts to resolve the political crisis through participation of all major political parties in the reform activities have not yielded results. Almost one year after the signing of the June Agreement, reforms to steer the separation of state and party and organization of fair and credible electoral process have failed. We are deeply convinced that the reason for the foregoing is the lack of political will to implement the agreed steps that are of utmost concern to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Instead of conducting yet another process whereby reforms to exit the political crisis will be placed exclusively in the hands of the political parties, a situation that welcomes yet another failure, we propose other solutions that enable a meaningful implementation and sustainability of all reform steps.

1.    Constitutional Court should address the decision for dissolution of the Parliament and in that regard the act for early parliamentary elections.

2.    We demand that the President of the Republic of Macedonia henceforth withdraw the act for pardoning persons, which are the subject of pre-investigative and investigative proceedings for abuse of office and power. Special Public Prosecutor should continue with their work. The combat against widespread corruption cannot be accomplished if persons are rendered above the law. We believe that the President should immediately and unequivocally revoke his decision in the interest of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia.

3.    We demand that the leaders of the political parties and the international community finally support the option of constitution of a transitional government with a mandate up until the next regular parliamentary elections scheduled for 2018 and with the sole purpose of implementing, within the specific terms, the Urgent reform priorities supported by the European Commission. In addition, it is of utmost importance for the transitional government to preclude persons engaged in any proceedings related to abuse of office and power. The transitional government must demonstrate integrity and ability to tackle all reform challenges. Furthermore, it must openly and unequivocally be supported by all internal and external stakeholders. In particular, the political parties must unanimously support the idea of a transitional government by rendering their parliamentary group votes for the constitution thereof in the Assembly. Тhe composition of the transitional government should include experts and civil society representatives in the key ministries responsible for implementation of the urgent reform priorities: Ministry of interior, Ministry of justice, Ministry of information society and administration.

4.    We demand that the institutions and political parties embrace the representatives of the civil society and fundamentally engage citizens in their decision-making process. The representatives of the civil society must be granted an active role at the table during the upcoming negotiations of the political parties as well as have appointed representatives with the right to vote in the State Election Commission, the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption, the Judicial Council, the Council of Public Prosecutors and the Agency for Audio and Audio-Visual Media Services. The civil society must develop a mechanism for the purposes of nominating their members in the afore-stated bodies, which will include civil society organizations and movements.

5.    We urge all stakeholders to whom this letter is addressed to support the activity of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in charge of prosecuting crimes associated with/or arising from the illegal interception of communications (Special Public Prosecutor’s Office) by taking on specific actions. Foremost, we demand that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia without any delay articulate their position regarding the initiative for the assessment of the compliance of Law, under which this institution was established with the Constitution, as highlighted yesterday during the civil protests by the movement #Protestiram. The above stated steps are important in order to overcome the existing obstacles that hinder the work of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office. The Special Public Prosecutor’s Office remains the sole benefit of last year’s negotiations to resolve the political crisis and this represents the crucial momentum wherein all political actors and other stakeholders should act in support of its work.

We strongly believe that the proposed steps would make for an essential and crucial contribution to the resolution of the political and social crisis endured by the country for a longer period of time, and which the political elites have failed to overcome on their own. We hope that the fundamental values on which the country is founded – democracy and the rule of law- will be the guiding principles to steer the activity of all public authorities in the forthcoming period.Sincerely yours,

Institute for Democracy, “Societas Civilis” Skopje, (IDSCS)