Prime Minister Georgievski's address on the occasion of the suggestion for considering changes in the Constitution of the RM

September 3, 2001

Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski supported the Macedonian President's initiative for starting a procedure on constitutional changes, which is stipulated in the Framework Agreement, and called on parliamentarians to vote for this proposal, MIA reports.

"I have never thought the Macedonian Constitution is the reason for the six-month crisis in the country. Therefore, I do not consider that changing of the Constitution by 35 amendments will bring peace in Macedonia, Georgievski said late Monday, adding that current and former governments were not responsible for the crisis.

The Macedonian Constitution and the 35 amendments that would be approved were a result of a military aggression upon Macedonia in the last six months.

"I will not talk about all battles. I will just mention the first one in Tanusevci, which was direct attack from Kosovo, and the last one in Radusa, also a border region, which was shelled from Kosovo. So, we must say loud and clear that Macedonia has been imposed to a military aggression for the last six months, despite the fact that many local Albanians joined those groups. But they also went to Kosovo first, becoming official members of the Kosovo Protection Corps, and returning to Macedonia after three months. So, now we are forced to change the Constitution under the pressure of a military aggression," Georgievski said.

Referring to terms for constitutional changes, Georgievski said the initiative was presented under direct pressure of violence and terror.

"Firstly, we have violated one of the most significant standard of the international community, giving great award to all terrorists in the world, that we as Macedonia and the international community are considering that terrorism is a profitable business. The lessons we have learned for decades that terrorism may not be awarded with meeting of a political goal are not applicable for us. Unfortunately, we must confess that we accept to give such an award. Secondly, we are to change the Constitution when part of Macedonia's territory is occupied. That is a fact that must be considered when we discuss on successful surpassing of the crisis. The third issue is that we must admit that from this moment on we shall talk about the Prizren document. The difference between the Framework Agreement and this document refers only to the military service, i.e. the Prizren document says that soldiers may serve their term at home -in their native cities," Georgievski said.

According to him, Macedonia is facing military and economic embargo, as all of its arrangements with the financial institutions, as well as bilateral programs, are being halted. He warned that in a few months, the economic situation in the country would be seriously worsened.

He expressed his disappointment with the international community in regard to measures it had taken against the terrorists, who killed, burned and destroyed in Macedonia.

"Besides the list of terrorists who are prohibited to enter into the United States, no other measure against terrorism has been taken. On the other hand, the pressure upon Macedonia is more then evident," Georgievski said.

As a reason for supporting of the initiative for constitutional changes, Georgevski referred to the national unity.

"Since the emerging of the crisis in Tanusevci until today, I, as a leader of VMRO-DPMNE, have no other political rival but the NLA terrorists. Unfortunately, it does not refer to all political parties and individuals that participate in the Macedonian Government. When we speak about Macedonia's future we must consider the lack of unity among the Macedonian people, offering no guarantee that if we keep fighting, something in that respect will be improved," Georgievski said.

"So, if some part of Macedonia is occupied we must defend and restore control over that part, if people are being kidnapped and terrorized, we must protect them with our security forces. Unfortunately, we did not mange to be united even when dealing with such crucial situations. I do not wish to call it a sabotage of the state interests, maybe it is fear or inability. I also refuse to think that it is a result of some party interests," Georgievski said.

He pointed out that the Macedonian political parties set four conditions for scheduling of a parliamentary session on constitutional changes to the international representatives on the day when the Framework Agreement was signed. The conditions were: collecting of one third of the weaponry, withdrawal of terrorists to their positions of July 5, returning of displaced and kidnapped persons to their homes, and durable cease-fire. Unfortunately, only the first one of those conditions was partially met, Georgievski said.

He also expressed his disagreement with the claim that those parliamentarians who would vote against the constitutional changes would be responsible for a war in the country, adding he heard that accusation several times not by Macedonian, but by foreign representatives.

"I do not think that those who will vote against the constitutional changes should be considered guilty for the Macedonian Constitution. However, I call on the parliamentarians to vote for the changes because of a very simple reason. Is it so easy for us to grant amnesty to terrorists, and to tell to those who so easily killed and destroyed in Macedonia that they were right, and if they continue with their violence, they will be right again because members of the Macedonian parliament are guilty? " Georgievski asked.

According to him, all parliamentarians should bear the responsibility if they vote against the changes, but "it is said that the choir of international and domestic experts will sing the same song, forgetting Ali Ahmeti and his bloodthirsty people, and seeking the guilty one among the Macedonian people."

For Georgievski, one of the reasons for adopting of constitutional changes is the presence of NATO in Macedonia.

"You have witnessed the NATO credibility when it entered into Macedonia, despite the differences on whether it is necessary to spend DM one billion for this operation that will collect weaponry, worth DM two million, and whether it requires 5,000 soldiers to collect 3,300 pieces of weaponry. It is obvious that we should not "gamble" with the NATO authority and if the Alliance takes part in this game, we should accept it and express out trust," Georgievski said.

Speaking about "war or peace" and the conditions for constitutional changes, there was unanswered question, which most probably could not be answered by nobody, Georgievski said.

"Those who will refuse to vote and war happens will be declared guilty for the war. I will rephrase the question: what if all amendments are adopted and terrorism does not stop in Macedonia, as well as violence acts on our civilians. What if the displaced persons will not return to their homes even after a year, along with everything that means continuation of the war for territories, which has begun in that manner and unfortunately, will most probably end like that," Georgievski said.

Referring to the reasons for which the initiative for constitutional changes should be adopted, Georgievski said that all must understand that "the Republic of Macedonia is a collateral damage of the NATO intervention in 1999," reminding that the term was invented by the international community "when the aerial bombs by mistake hit trailers with Albanians and trains with civilians."

"Unfortunately, voting for this initiative we have to be aware that Macedonia is a collateral damage of that intervention and we cannot expect those who made that mistake in 1999, to admit it today. Unfortunately, these are the conditions under which we are to commence with this initiative," Georgievski said.

In his address, Georgievski also referred to the coexistence between the Macedonians and Albanians in the last ten years, which, as he said "is neither written in the current Constitution, nor in the proposed changes."

"Life between Macedonians and Albanians has not been ideal for the last ten years, but I may say that during the rule of this and former coalition Governments, they have simply lived together. I do not know how many years and generations should pass to bring back Macedonia where it was six months ago, when we received compliments from the international community and from the leaders of Albanian political parties in Macedonia," Georgievski said.

In this respect, he said it was very difficult for him to listen to the exchange of accusations between the VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM.

"SDSM is accusing VMRO-DPMNE that it has made a mistake or treason by passing the Laws on amnesty and higher education, giving in to some individual demands, even for the Kosovo crisis, while VMRO-DPMNE accuses SDSM for granting 150.000 certificates for citizenship to Albanians in 1994/95, including to Mr. Basilj Bajrami, who was not entitled to the Macedonian citizenship, as Belguim wanted him for murders. VMRO-DPMNE accuses SDSM for granting Macedonian passports to politicians from Kosovo because they were tortured by Slobodan Milosevic. I will mention only one case in regard to Mr. Veton Suroi, who got Macedonian passport in 1994/95, and who is the main link today among the Macedonian politicians, Albanian terrorists and the international monitors and is the major "gray eminence" to everything that has been happening in Macedonia," Georgievski said.

For him, all those cases are neither treason nor mistake, but a confirmation "for the Macedonian people's great heart, wishing to help to all of those who are in trouble in a certain moment."

"I connect this Macedonian great heart with our hospitality we have offered to 350.000 citizens of Kosovo during the Kosovo crisis. It is neither treason nor mistake, just a proof that the Macedonian people wish to live with the Albanians as always throughout the history. The problem, which is neither written in the current Constitution, nor in its future changes, is how shall we restore that trust," Georgievski said.

Quelle: Pressemitteilung vom 03.09.2001


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