"Genocide not topic of new government's program" - Zaev
Leader of Macedonia's opposition SDSM party Zoran Zaev on Friday in Skopje presented "the program of the new government" which, he said, will soon be formed.Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
Zaev said that he would submit a new draft law on languages, and that it must be "strictly in accordance with the Constitution."
"The new government will pursue a policy where Macedonia will be built as a civic state in which all will be equal. We will support the language policy in accordance with the needs of citizens, each group will be allowed to use their own language in institutions," he said.
According to Zaev, "the program of the new government" is based on the principles of the election program of SDSM and the principles of those parliamentary parties which will make up the ruling coalition.
Albanian language media are reporting today that Zaev has "betrayed Albanians" and that the program he presented "makes no mention of Albanian becoming the second official language in Macedonia."
Asked whether during the negotiations to form a parliamentary majority with the parties representing ethnic Albanians he "accepted one of the demands from their declaration - for Macedonia's new assembly to adopt a resolution condemning alleged genocide committed against Albanians in Macedonia between 1912 and 1956" - Zaev said that this was "not a topic of the program of the government" which he intends to form with these parties.
"This is a topic that should be debated by experts, while my personal opinion is that many have suffered in this region, especially in the last ten years during the rule of the regime of (former Macedonian PM) Nikola Gruevski," said he.
Zaev said that the government he intends to form will be dedicated to reforms to meet Macedonia's "strategic interests" - EU and NATO membership.
The SDSM leader also urged President Gjorge Ivanov to note that there is a parliamentary majority, adding that he will "wait to be given the mandate to form a government" because he "does not wish to be introducing new practices in Macedonia."
Zaev and two Albanian parties, DUI and BESA, secured a parliamentary majority of 67 deputies out of 120, but Ivanov refuses to give him the mandate to form a new government because of the so-called Tirana Platform, which, among other things, provides for the Albanian language to be equal with Macedonian.