Yesterday afternoon, EU President Donald Tusk was the next EU dignitary in line to visit Macedonia to propose a solution to the deep political crisis that ensued after President Gjorgje Ivanov refused to give opposition leader Zoran Zaev a mandate to form a majority government with the Albanian minority parties.
After visits of High Representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn failed to bring any solution to the deadlock, it now appears that also one of the EU’s highest functionaries has failed to broker a deal between President Ivanov and Zaev.
In a joint press conference, President Tusk stated:
President Ivanov, I replied to your letter in early March on finding a way out of this political crisis. This protracted crisis is holding your country back from your Euro-Atlantic path. It is for you to find a solution based on democratic principles, decency and common sense. Only such a solution can be a lasting one. When you find it, you can count on our support.
President Ivanov, however, reiterated his resolve not to give a mandate to Zaev:
I am acquainted in a detailed manner with the constitutional competencies and the practice of dividing the mandate. My position remains unchanged. The new government has not to be contested by any side, the decision is preventive. The European Union is a guarantee for the Ohrid Agreement and the agreement of 2015.
President Ivanov added that the European Union must reject the “Albanian platform.”