President Stevo Pendarovski received today the President of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski.
Below is the integral statement of President Pendarovski after the meeting:
Today’s meeting with Mickoski was aimed at re-establishing the political dialogue, for which you know that we have been constantly criticized by the European Union for years. It is not typical for a democracy to have interruption of communications between institutions; we are paid by the citizens to communicate for their good, not to be led by stubbornness or personal whims. In my opinion, from that aspect, I think that the past months were wasted, but, when you are already losing, it is better to lose 10 months than 3 years.
The meeting was at the request of Mickoski and in the telephone conversation he asked to discuss current problems and challenges we face as a country in the last year – pandemic, economic effects of the pandemic, blockade of European integration, etc. I think that, or I guess, he was telling you about several key projects that are planned by the current Government, to be implemented in the coming period, for which they have a completely different position, but I would not repeat, I guess you know their views, i.e. highways, gas power plant and terminal in neighboring Greece, clinical center, etc.
I informed him about what is happening in terms of the blocked European integration. I was in Brussels recently, and in this part I briefly told him that practically no news is coming from Sofia, due to the situation there after the elections. They scheduled new elections for July and I briefly told him what our European friends in Brussels think, plan, talk about this whole situation in terms of integration.
With regard to the events of April 27, I reiterated my view that pardoning persons who have committed an unprecedented crime in modern Europe is out of the question because their guilt in that process has been unquestionably established.
Regarding the legal qualification of the crime, it is a fact that those persons were not tried for terrorism, but on another article, for terrorist endangerment of the constitutional order. The actions with which this crime can be committed are similar; the sentence is identical, at least 10 years. Otherwise, on April 27, remember, there is a verdict for a group of people who were part of the same mob that entered the Parliament and attacked Zijadin Sela. If a legal qualification is followed, it means all the time, be careful, I am talking about a legal qualification not about political interpretations of the verdicts, if the legal qualification of that verdict is followed, those people were tried and rightly received high sentences, but were not tried for terrorism, but for attempted murder.
Or, for example, the case of the attacker of the then MP, Radmila Sekerinska, those are scenes that shocked us and the world, who was also part of the mob who entered the Parliament and was not tried for terrorism, but for violence.
Briefly, all these individuals committed horrible crimes, left severe consequences and traumas for both the victims and their families, received deserved punishments, according to what we know from the previous procedures that ended and there is no compromise. However, the political rhetoric, now I am talking about that part, in which those verdicts were framed, explained, interpreted then and today, in my opinion, further deepens the gap between the citizens.
According to one explanation, they are terrorists of the rank of Al Qaeda and ISIS, and according to another, they are defenders of the Constitution, although they are tried for threatening the constitutional order, so they did not defend, but, on the contrary, violated the Constitution.
My thesis is that if we continue with such contradictory political rhetoric, extremely contradictory political rhetoric, we will not reach national or civil reconciliation and we will not be able to establish basic political communication between us, which, unfortunately, is now the situation. You see a huge number of media, cameras, today the number one national news is that the president of the largest opposition party and the president of the country met. In democracies, in mature democracies, this is a routine that is never interesting for the media.
Once again, because there were such constructions – with this thesis of mine I do not revise the court verdict, because I do not see a reason for such a thing, it is a done deal, people are in prison, nor do I say that the verdict was passed without evidence. I am only talking about the attempts for political interpretation of the verdicts that do not contribute to the establishment of a normal political debate in which we will not see ourselves as mortal enemies.
My view that if there is new evidence that was not previously known the process could be reopened does not mean that I advocate reopening of the process. I am only quoting the provision of the law and the legal possibility according to which these people, through their lawyers, after an extraordinary legal remedy, can ask the Supreme Court to evaluate the new evidence, of course if such exist at all. And the decision whether the process will be repeated, will certainly not be made by a political factor, but by the court.
Very briefly – I understand the need, which was present over the past few days, of dramatization and pathetic presentation inherent in a small part of the media and the announcements that today’s meeting will allegedly pass in an attempt to review the April 27 trial, or that the meeting itself puts tremendous pressure on the judiciary.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I assume we will agree that it is extremely unusual to put pressure on the court to hold a public meeting in the Cabinet of the President. Usually, those pressures are made in a different way and by different means, in which we all had the opportunity to see for ourselves from the wiretapped materials.
In conclusion, the alleged relativization of the events of April 27 that some attribute to me, you certainly cannot expect from me because I myself, as an MP in 2017, that day, was among the attacked and injured ones.