The Parliament failed to approve the PPO law on state prosecutors today when only 74 representatives voted in favor, but in violation of parliamentary procedures, Speaker Talat Xhaferi ordered a repeat of the vote. It was then declared that 80 representatives were in favor, still short of the 81 votes needed to adopt a systemic law, but Xhaferi declared it adopted.
This prompted outrage in the Parliament building, as members of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party accused the Zaev regime of staging a criminal vote for a law that Zaev hopes will protect him from future criminal investigations.
The chaotic scene was the culmination of days of political tension, during which the SDSM party gave concessions to ethnic Albanian parties, and again bribed and blackmailed the so-called “Gang of eight”, in an attempt to push through a systemic law without the approval of the opposition. The PPO law would entrench Zaev loyalists at the top positions in the state prosecutor’s office, and would ban the prosecutors from using wiretaps as indications of wrongdoing on the part of the Government. It has become a huge priority for Zaev, who fears he will lose the April 12 elections, and has in the mean-time racked up an impressive number of criminal and corruption scandals to his name.