Macedonian President Gheorghe Ivanov on Wednesday vetoed and returned to parliament a new law on the use of the language, according to which Albanian is recognized in the country as the second official language.
The bill was adopted on January 11, 2018 in Parliament by the votes of the ruling coalition, consisting of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and Albanian parties. Until now Macedonian remains the main language in Macedonia, and Albanian has the status and privileges of the language of the national minority.
“Instead of building a multi-ethnic society in the spirit of dialogue and joint existence with the help of just and generally accepted laws, we are adopting an unjust and repressive law that favors only the Albanian language,” Ivanov said in an address to the public posted on the president’s website.
The President noted that he sent a letter to the parliament informing the deputies that he would not sign a decree on the entry into force of the law on the use of the language with a detailed legal justification for his decision, and urged members of the parliament to get acquainted with his remarks.
According to Ivanov, the law is not consistent with the constitution, its anti-constitutional character is also indicated by expert circles and the general public. “Therefore … I decided not to sign the decree,” the head of state stressed.
The president has until midnight on Thursday to sign the law passed by parliament. If he does not do it within the allotted time, the deputies will have to start again to discuss the law and put him to the vote. After the repeated adoption of the law without changes, the president will not have the right not to sign it.
The introduction of the Albanian language as the second official is envisaged by the so-called “tyranny platform” that Albanian politicians from Macedonia made in Tirana, Albania, with the assistance of the head of the Albanian government, Eddie Rama.
The adoption of the “tyranny platform” has become a condition for the political leaders of the Albanians to support the government headed by Prime Minister Zoran Zayev (SDSM).
The new law on language assumes that all structures of state and municipal authorities along with Macedonian will use the Albanian language, which is spoken by at least 20% of the population. Sites of state bodies, other carriers of official information, official, business and personal documents will also have to become bilingual. Money signs, coins, postage stamps are supposed to be supplied with symbols of both cultures.
Opponents of the law indicate that its adoption will lead to the creation of parallelism in public authorities, which will endanger the unitarity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Macedonia.