At the very beginning of his annual address to the Macedonian Parliament on Thursday, President Ivanov stressed that by leaving their seats vacant, the opposition MPs left the voters who had voted for them unrepresented. Voting in elections, he said, is a civil right guaranteed by the Constitution yet representing voters in Parliament is a constitutional responsibility of elected deputies.
The parliamentary session Thursday was also boycotted by the BDI MPs who refuse to recognize Ivanov's legitimacy.
"Vacant seats cannot reflect the citizens' will. I wish to underscore than seven months ago, I invited political leaders, including Mr. Zaev and Mr. Ahmeti, to a meeting at which we would discuss our national interests. They ignored my invitation, which is still open. Refusing an invitation to discuss national interests to me is a reflection of utterly irresponsible political conduct. Therefore, I wish to tell those who are absent today that political dialogue is not a sign of political weakness but a sign of political maturity," President Ivanov said.