Bulgarian to Macedonian president: Corruption should be investigated, not amnestied
Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has telephoned his counterpart in Skopje, Gjorge Ivanov, to express his country’s concerns about the political crisis and rising tensions in Macedonia.
Protests, escalating to violent clashes with police and attacks on state buildings including Ivanov’s office, resulted in recent days after the Macedonian president handed out a blanket amnesty to government officials and politicians including former prime minister Gjorge Ivanov in connection with a scandal over large-scale illegal electronic surveillance.
Plevneliev expressed Bulgaria’s support for the investigative work of the special prosecutor full implementation of the Przino Agreement. He was referring to a 2015 agreement among the main political parties in Macedonia, mediated by the European Union, to bring opposition party SDSM into participation in government ministries, the stepping down of Gruevski as prime minister to open the way for early parliamentary elections in June 2016 and the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the wire-tapping scandal.
“Citizens expect justice and it cannot be refused to them. Corruption at the highest levels of government should be investigated, and not given amnesty,” Plevneliev told Ivanov, according to a statement by the Bulgarian President’s office.
Plevneliev said that in recent years, Bulgaria also had gone through political crises.
When the country is facing a difficult choice, protests and strong political opposition, the only solution is reliance on the constitution and the preservation of the rule of law in the state. Adherence to this principle has helped Bulgaria to overcome the political crisis and today the country is a factor for stability in the Balkans, Plevneliev said.
As a good neighbour and as chairman of the Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria is ready to assist in finding a solution, Plevneliev told Ivanov. The solution lies in dialogue, in compliance with the rules of the rule of law and the constitution, the Bulgarian President said.
In the situation in Macedonia, the constitution of the country and Przino Agreement are the basis for a return to political stability and organisation of fair and democratic elections, Plevneliev said.
Democracy and rule of law require institutions to act in accordance with the law in the interest of all citizens. A solution can only be achieved through dialogue between political leaders, non-violence and restore public order in the country. Political parties must commit to keeping order and the rejection of all forms of violence, he said.
Earlier on April 14, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov called on political leaders in Macedonia to resume political dialogue on solutions to the political crisis in that country and appealed to everyone to refrain from any form of violence.