Respected citizens, dear friends. As you yourselves know and have experienced, our country has been stuck in a political crisis for far too long. This past summer, the four largest political parties, together with facilitators from the international community reached an agreement to overcome the crisis.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to leave our problems behind us, so that the people and the country can continue to move forward, and we can return to opening new jobs, building our schools and our infrastructure, roads, hospitals, keeping up agriculture subsidies, increasing our salaries and retirement incomes, and continuing the strong growth of our economy.
All the parties signed an agreement that needs to resolve and end the crisis.
We made numerous compromises. We were even criticized that we have compromised too much and were too lenient in the talks. We did that fully aware and mindful of the welfare of the state. SDSM were given two ministers to lead Government departments and three additional deputy ministers. Our obligation here was met in full. A special prosecutor was elected with all necessary conditions to work without hindrance. Our obligation here was met in full.
A new State Electoral Commission was elected, dominated by the opposition, with a Secretary and President coming from its ranks. Our obligation here was met in full. The electoral code was amended in accordance with the requests from the opposition, and with mediation from the international community. Again, our obligation was met in full.
The elections need to be called for April 24th.
Now is the time to fulfill this remaining obligation.
Unfortunately, recent statements on the part of the SDSM have cast a pale over this segment of the agreement. This is a clear trap meant to keep our country in a hostage situation, in a state of crisis, in a state of conflict, and to deny the citizens their right to elect the people who they believe should continue to govern the country. I’m against these delaying tactics and I’m against keeping the country hostage.
The agreement also provides for a timely withdrawal by the Prime Minister 100 days before the elections. We have reached 100 days before 24 April, the day when we have agreed and set in law to hold the elections. I stand behind this part of the agreement as well. I want to see this uncertainty, these problems, conflicts, behind us, and I want our country to move forward and continue its strong pace of development.
Tomorrow morning I will submit a letter of resignation to the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, which will be effective 100 days before the official date of the elections.
What does this mean for our country?
Primarily, this resignation demonstrates the strength of our resolve and faith in democracy. The best victory over this dirty campaign aimed against Macedonia, led by different methods over the past year and a half, will be clean elections that will deny any sort of excuses to anybody. Such were the last elections in which we won a resounding victory, and with your help, we will again win a resounding victory at the coming elections. This time, we are getting there with these additional steps convinced that what we are doing is for the benefit of the state and its people.
Macedonia must move forward and we will make sure it does, together with you, its people.
Respected citizens. My party and I personally will remain faithful to this agreement because we stand by you, we lean on you, we trust in you. You alone have the right to elect whoever you wish to lead this country. You, the people of Macedonia, are our main support and I do this for you, because I believe in you and in your decision and judgment. You know and understand it all. Nobody can dare underestimate you. You will speak your mind at the coming elections clearly, decidedly and loudly.
The coming elections need to be a fresh start. The months of political crisis, disturbing developments, espionage, security and economic challenges, will be behind us. These were months of quarrels, divisions, anger, agony, attempts for an economic, political and even security collapse of Macedonia. But, we endured through out it all and we will come out victorious, together with you!
I will not waste time in the coming elections to go back to the political disputes and the subterfuge by the opposition.
I have great plans and serious projections for developing the economy of the country, to bring growth and prosperity, to continue on the path of opening new jobs and investments in all areas of the industry. I will present a detailed program in order to accomplish the expectations you have from us. And you can count on me that I will fulfill my promise. I stand by my word.
Others can get involved in politics of personal destruction. In destructive and barren scenarios. But my program is meant for you. For your family. For your job prospects. For your income. For the development of our country into a place where you can project your hopes and dreams.
And finally, this move marks our commitment to get things done, to keep one’s word. You have the right to expect that from the people engaged in politics – to faithfully and with dedication keep what they have promised and what you have asked them to do through your vote.
The elections on April 24th will remove this dark cloud of uncertainty and will replace it with a renewed and strong mandate. With a new wind in our backs, once all this agony is behind us, we will prove to all that Macedonia is strong and resilient and that no-one should underestimate our people. That our people knows well what it wants and whom to support. Then the Government will move the country forward in developing the economy and in improving the standards.
My respected fellow citizens, today I make this important step because I have full faith in you.
I eagerly anticipate all my future conversations with you across the country. This is my plan, to always be with you, to talk, discuss and plan together for the joint future of our country. We will share ideas and projects, measures, steps and opinions, on how to improve ourselves and what needs to be done in the future. Together we will herald a new era of vision, action and of results.
Today Macedonia proves to all that it believes in itself and knows what it is doing. We will fight for ourselves, for our prosperous future, and we will not allow anybody to subvert it. I believe in you and I believe in Macedonia. I know you share this belief too. We are moving forward, shoulder to shoulder, every day until the end of the elections when we will again stand firm with our heads held high and say – we did it, Macedonia did it, and we are part of this major victory.