US Ambassador to Macedonia (FYROM) Jess Baily on Thursday expressed his concern over the political crisis unfolding in the country.
In a post on Twitter, Baily said that he was in agreement with EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn on this issue.
“Concerned that Macedonia moving away from principles of democracy and rule of law, core NATO values,” the diplomat added in his tweet.
Hahn on Wednesday posted three messages that said:
“On latest developments in Form. Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia: ‘All leaders, incl. the President, must respect outcome of recent elections’; In a democracy, one must acknowledge parliamentary majorities, even if one doesn’t like them; I therefore expect all political leaders and institutions to let the democratic process run its course, in the interest of the citizens.”
According to MIA agency, Baily today also spoke with reporters to urge Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov to reconsider his decision not to give opposition leader Zoran Zaev a mandate to form the next government.
The diplomat said his country was doing this “as a strategic partner of Macedonia, as friend and with full respect for Macedonia’s sovereignty and unity.”
Baily said that the US “at the same time urges Macedonia’s neighbors to exercise restraint and be constructive at this moment of heightened political sensitivity in the country.”
“I would note that the United States was disappointed to learn yesterday that President Ivanov has declined to offer to representatives representing a clear parliamentary majority the opportunity to form a new government. We believe that this was inconsistent with basic democratic principles and the rule of law which are core values of NATO, for example,” the ambassador said.
Ivanov announced his decision on Wednesday, after his meeting with Zaev, and said he would not entrust a mandate to a politician or a party that adopted a platform that is undermining Macedonia’s statehood and unity.
Speaking later in the day, Zaev accused the president of carrying out “a coup” and urged him to reconsider his decision.
Zaev earlier announced that his party, the SDSM, had a parliamentary majority together with three parties representing ethnic Albanians in Macedonia.