Pendarovski: Extending state of emergency for additional 30 days was necessary

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A leaders’ meeting could take place between May 10 and May 12 and the leaders of both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE have confirmed that they would come, as well as the leaders of the parties of the Albanian bloc, both the ruling party and the opposition, President Stevo Pendarovski has said.

Pendarovski said he had spoken on the phone with both Zoran Zaev and Hristijan Mickoski.

The party leaders at the meeting are expected to discuss the prospect of elections.

The President was asked why the party leaders need to discuss elections since the government has passed a decree, saying election activities will continue once the state of emergency is declared over.

According to him, the decrees with the force of law are valid until the state of emergency is in force. “Then, for the decrees to continue to be valid, Parliament should uphold them – if the legislative house upholds them they remain valid, if not, they become null and void. It is one of the legal opinions my legal advisors have been telling me. I’m not saying it is the definitive truth, but I want to say it,” Pendarovski said.

The government, he noted, has been adopting decrees with the force of laws and the government has legislative power only during a state of emergency.

“The government only during a state of emergency is allowed to pass decrees with the force of law, this isn’t permitted if Parliament is active. So what’s the problem? Parliament isn’t able to convene because its head believes that the assembly is definitely dissolved. It strikes me as odd that even the opposition is against having a reactivated Parliament in order to have check and balances,” Pendarovski stressed.

He was asked whether he would extend the state of emergency for another 30 days after it ends on May 16. Pendarovski amid the coronavirus pandemic declared a state of emergency twice – on March 18 and April 16.

“If the health crisis, the COVID-19-related situation starts calming down – I wish that from the bottom of my heart – I’ll think twice if I’m going to extend the state of emergency, 30 days plus 30 days and another 30 until the end of the year,” said the head of state.

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