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Macedonia: New Lustration Law Submitted

April 11, 2012

Macedonia’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party formally submitted on Tuesday a draft of the new Lustration law to parliament which aims to purge former police informants from public offices.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 10.04.2012

 

Macedonian parliament

This comes after the Constitutional Court scrapped in late March the twelve controversial provisions of the existing law, which narrowed its scope.

The draft is likely to pass as the ruling party has a solid majority in the parliament.  So far it is not known when the draft will be put to a vote.

According to Silvana Boneva, head of the ruling centre-right party caucus in Parliament, the opposition filed no official complaints to the draft so far.

Previously the main opposition party, Social Democrats, was suspicious of the government’s intentions, accusing it of misusing the law to target government critics.

Macedonia followed in the steps of many former Communist states that have enacted similar laws in order to address past injustices stemming from politically motivated judicial proceedings.

Anyone found to be former collaborators are obliged to resign from office and if they do so they are guaranteed anonymity.

But the new act should make dossiers on former police informants available to the public by posting them on the Internet. The ruling party says this will make the whole process more transparent.

In March, the court ruled that it was not constitutional to oblige people from a wide range of professions, including clergy, journalists, NGO activists and others, to swear that they did not collaborate with the secret police during the Communist period and afterwards.

It also shortened the time span of the law that was previously applicable until 2019.

The court ruled that that it may cover only the Communist period from 1945 to 1991 and not the period after the country gained independence from Yugoslavia and became a democratic society.

Now the ruling party proposes lustration to be applicable until 2006, the year a public information access law was adopted.

The new draft does not name a wide range of professions for lustration, but people are given the right to ask for lustration of someone if they suspect he or she was a former informant.

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