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Xhaferi: Constitutional amendments to be voted on January 1

The debate on the constitutional amendments arising from the Prespa Agreement will begin on December 17, the plenary session will be scheduled by January 9 at the earliest and the vote will take place on January 15, said Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi.
“The last couple of debates hosted by the Government are taking place in Stip and Tetovo today. The Government is then obliged to file a report to the Parliament regarding the public debates, as well as the draft-amendments to be discussed in the final stage of the constitutional revision. According to the Rules of Procedure, the committee debate will begin on December 17, during which MPs can put forward amendments to the already endorsed constitutional amendments. According to my estimates, the plenary session will be scheduled n January 9 at the earliest, whereas the final vote of the constitutional amendments should take place on January 15, Speaker Xhaferi told reporters at the joint press conference with Albanian counterpart Gramoz Ruci.

He added that Greece would then have to ratify the Prespa Agreement and Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol in its parliament, thus encircling the entire process.

As for the Macedonian minority in Albania, Speaker Ruci said the law on national minorities meets international standards related to the treatment of minorities.

“Prespa does not meet the criteria for municipality as per the new law on territorial organization. However, the government has decided to enable this, so they can operate as a municipality, elect a mayor and council, which demonstrates Albania’s commitment to the Macedonian minority” said Ruci.