Mogherini to Ivanov: Reverse Your Decision

Yesterday EU High Representative of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini visited Skopje amid political tensions over the rejection of Macedonian President Gjorgje Ivanov to give SDSM leader Zoran Zaev a mandate to form a coalition government with the Albanian minority parties.

Mogherini addressed the crisis directly, stating that President Ivanov’s decision would be a “serious break of the democratic principles”:

I believe that it would be impossible for anyone, to convince anyone in the democratic world that the majority of members of Parliament, who represent the majority of citizens in a unitary state, cannot be allowed to form a government – and that instead of democratic rules, chaos prevails today.

This breaks the spirit of democracy, this is inconsistent with basic democratic principles, this is inconsistent also with the Euro-Atlantic integration process that is proclaimed as a priority by all party leaders as well as by the President himself and, I know, it’s a real priority for all the citizens of this country.

In her meeting with President Ivanov, Mogherini asked him to “reverse his decision in the interest of all citizens of this country,” while reminding him of his constitutional duty to entrust the mandate to the candidate who has a majority in parliament.

She also called upon all institutions and politician to be responsible with their rhetoric:

Last but not least, I would like to spend a word to say that all political leaders and all those who have institutional responsibilities have the duty to contain and scale down the rhetoric, avoid that this political and institutional crisis becomes an inter-ethnic conflict, or even worse a geopolitical conflict. This is a complex country in a complex region and in really complex times. We do not need fuel, because we have quite some fire already.

Mogherini arrives today in Tirana, where she will give a lecture to the students of the Polytechnic University and hold a joint press conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama later in the evening.