I would like to inform the Macedonian public that moments ago I signed a Decree to declare state of emergency across the whole country. This afternoon, the Government sent a request to the Parliament, which according to the Constitution is the first responsible institution to declare state of emergency. The President of the Parliament immediately forwarded the request to me, stating that he cannot convene the Parliament to discuss the item.
My decree is based on Article 125 of our Constitution, which stipulates this possibility should the Parliament for any matter is unable to convene.
Precisely, I made the decision to declare state of emergency for protection and dealing with the consequences of the spreading COVID-19. The state of emergency will last for 30 days and once the Parliament is able to convene, it will be submitted for Parliament’s confirmation. Before the expiration of the 30 days’ timeframe, I expect the Government to submit to me a detailed report for the effects of the measures that had been taken and a reasoned proposal for the need of potentially extending the state of emergency for additional 30 days.
The simple fact that for the first time since our independence we are declaring state of emergency is a testament to how complex is the situation that we are in, and how immense the risk is for each and every one of us. As of today, the executive power will have expanded responsibilities and will be able to use all resources of the country – I underline, all state and private resources, so that we can better handle the epidemic. In a state of emergency, the Government will be able to adopt acts with legal power of a law, in order to introduce increased limits to people’s movement and to secure larger amount of funds to support the economy which is entering an exceptionally crisis period. The epidemic has put a strain on the country’s resources and currently the damage to the companies which are out of work are enormous. The Government ought to offer significant assistance and support.
We stand before difficult days, as a society and as individual citizens. Hence, as a President I have no dilemmas in the righteousness of the decisions I am making.
I expect the Government, which will have the biggest responsibility in the coming period, to respond to the challenge of its task and resist the temptations that the current political and historic moment brings. Considering the expanded responsibilities, I expect the Government, the responsible ministries, the Centre for Crisis Management, the Directorate for Protection and Rescue and all involved institutions, to inform daily for all the activities they would be taking, as well as for the updated plans for their forthcoming activities.
I would like to especially underline that the leaders of the largest political parties in government and opposition are supportive of the declaration of state of emergency.
Тhe Government will continue to function as a caretaker government, which means that it will continue to have substantial contribution from its members, coming from the opposition.
This is a possibility for us to demonstrate in reality that when it comes to such hazardous matters, with no precedent for our country and citizens, all of the political parties will work together for the protection of people’s health and will not preoccupy with their political ratings. In this situation the elections scheduled for 12 April will have to be postponed and the parliamentary elections would be called when there would be conditions for people to vote in fair and democratic manner. Analyses, debates and calculations for getting votes or MP seats should be cast aside, as they are worthless in comparison to people’s most dear – protection of the lives of our citizens.
In the days ahead, please be disciplined and responsible for you and your loved ones. It is especially important that you are responsible for and assist our elderly citizens and those with chronic health conditions. Do not leave your homes unless it is immensely necessary. Follow the information from the responsible institutions and closely follow their recommendations.
I would like to use the occasion to thank all of the engaged healthcare professionals, police officers, members of the Army and volunteers who in the past several weeks have been really investing gigantic efforts to help the citizens affected by the illness.
I have a message to all of our citizens who are abroad. It is best if you stay in the country where you are currently, until this state lasts, in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation. If you decide to come back home, you are welcome, and hence you should know that you will have to obey all the measures laid down by the responsible institutions, and among them is the requirement to stay quarantined.
I call upon all of the citizens of our shared an only motherland, let’s keep calm, be responsible and show solidarity to each other.
If we help one another, if we stick together, we will overcome this difficult situation, as we have done numerous times before in our history!