Press conference statement by President Pendarovski

1 March 2024 | Speeches

President Stevo Pendarovski held a press conference today. Below is the full text of President Pendarovski’s statement.

Dear Media Representatives,
Dear citizens,

Thank you for your presence.

The reason for today’s press conference the announcement of my civil candidacy for the Head of State. In the past few days, I received public support for nomination for the second term from citizens, some of them public figures, university professors, cultural workers, people who know me, but also not a small number of those who do not know me personally. I use this opportunity to thank all of them for the trust they have in me and for the support they give me. On March 3, Sunday, according to my information, I expect the Social Democratic Union to formalize its support for my candidacy, and immediately after that, from Monday, the other ten political parties from that coalition will do the same. On Sunday, I will attend the SDSM Congress, only in that part, of course, to thank them for their support, and from Monday onwards I will have meetings with all ten political parties from that coalition, which announced their support for my candidacy, from whom expect to hear suggestions that I could incorporate into my election program. As I announced recently, it is a citizen’s candidacy and therefore I call on all citizens, starting from March 3, Sunday, to support my candidacy by giving signatures in the regional units of the State Election Commission.

Briefly about the reasons for my candidacy.

The first and main reason is that I have a mandate behind me without a single strategic mistake. Without any corruption affair and any case of nepotism or conflict of interest related to me, my family, my relatives, friends, or closest associates. I was the national coordinator and led the negotiations for Macedonia’s membership in NATO, and in my first term we became members of the Alliance. I expect that in my second term we will become members of the European Union.

Another reason is my policy in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations, which are, were and will be a pillar of the internal stability and cohesion of the Macedonian society. I am a Macedonian, however, there is not a single case in the past five years when my ethnic origin was a reason to favor or degrade someone. The structure of my colleagues in the Cabinet, as well as all the appointments I made within my constitutional and legal competences, are a confirmation of what I am saying.

The third reason is related to the second. In the past five years, I have shown that the president can be independent from any centers of political or economic power in the country, including those who supported him in the elections. There is no person or party in our country who can say that he controls me or directs my decisions.

Now briefly about my views regarding the two pillars of Macedonian independence, stability and prosperity and the agreements related to them. I say briefly, because the Macedonian public, all of you, in the past five years know very well my views regarding these two issues. It is about inter-ethnic relations and Euro-Atlantic integration.

There are candidates who are advocating, or announcing, or in the past announced a revision or annulment of the Framework, Prespa and Bulgaria Agreements.

The framework agreement fulfilled its historical role and strengthened, not undermined, the internal cohesion of Macedonia. Mainly because of the Framework Agreement, we became a candidate country for membership in the European Union.

The Prespa Agreement enabled our entry into NATO, which is a huge benefit from the aspect of the country’s security and confirmed the existence of Macedonians and the Macedonian language on a global level.

The agreement with Bulgaria was not disputed for three years. That same agreement, with that same content, became a problem when Bulgaria, under pressure from its old communist nationalist guard, began to invent reasons for the blockade, which otherwise are not in the Agreement itself. Finally, the theses that someone will change the negotiation framework with the European Union and make a better agreement with Bulgaria are a political hallucination, just like the latest ingenious idea that they will respect the agreement with Bulgaria, but in exchange they will demand that Sofia change their Constitution and the accompanying laws. However, if someone manages to do it, I will be the first to publicly congratulate them. I am only afraid that it is a request for justification for the actual blocking of our European integrations, which they have been doing in recent years solely for the purpose of raising their party ratings.

Thank you.





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