Search

 

Cablegate: Macedonia: Rumored Plans for Constitutional

VZCZCXRO1896
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV
DE RUEHSQ #0438 1901357
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 081357Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY SKOPJE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7503
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE 0362
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHSQ/USDAO SKOPJE MK
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

S E C R E T SKOPJE 000438

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR P (U/S BURNS) AND EUR A/S FRIED FROM AMBASSADOR
MILOVANOVIC

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/02/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL MK
SUBJECT: MACEDONIA: RUMORED PLANS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL
CHANGES AND CONCENTRATION OF POLITICAL POWER MAY THREATEN
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

REF: SKOPJE 436

Classified By: AMBASSADOR MILOVANOVIC, REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D).

1. (U) This is a request for policy guidance (see paragraph
5).

2. (S/NF) According to a wide range of credible sources, PM
Gruevski's VMRO-led coalition plans to amend the constitution
to allow for indirect election, by parliament, of the
President (head of state). VMRO's new coalition partner,
eAlbanian DUI, has indicated to us that it would support such
an amendment. Such an action would end direct popular
election for the office of the President, one of the few
checks and balances on government in this young democracy.
This has been a long-standing goal of Gruevski's, and with
his new 82-seat governing majority (reftel), he now has the
means to achieve it through a constitutional amendment.

3. (S/NF) Limiting the President's independence through
indirect elections would clear the way for a system in which
the party in government could act without the possibility of
dissenting views from the President, undermining democracy in
Macedonia. It would give the ruling party control over
appointment of the Chief of Defense Staff in the Ministry of
Defense (MOD), weakening the civilian-military separation of
power in the MOD. It also would give the ruling party
additional influence over the appointment of Macedonia's
ambassadors, further concentrating power in the government.


4. (S/NF) The change from a direct to indirect election of
the President would be retrogressive and harmful to
democratic development in Macedonia. Although the
constitutional powers of the President are limited, the
traditional independence of that office has had an important
tempering effect on government policies and attitudes. In
recent months, the most notable example of this moderating
influence relates to the name dispute. President
Crvenkovski's more flexible position related to the name
negotiations, coupled with his statesmanship on the issue,
was critical in persuading the government to accept the
pre-Bucharest Nimetz proposal, and helped moderate public
opinion on the issue. Removing a directly elected President
and further limiting his/her independence would clear the way
for a mono-party system that could act without regard to
minority political views.

5. (S/NF) POLICY GUIDANCE REQUEST: We request the Department
instruct us to use the considerable influence the USG enjoys
here to persuade PM Gruevski and his coalition partners to
refrain from pursuing any action to amend the constitution to
allow for parliamentary election of the president, and to ask
other influential domestic and international actors to
discourage it as well. We would convey that message
privately.
Milovanovic

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC