North Macedonia's Parliament Rules to Put Off Census as Albanian Opposition Representatives Have Rejected That Move

Lawmakers in North Macedonia's parliament have voted to postpone the census, which was scheduled to begin on April 1, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 95 lawmakers voted late Friday in favor and 12 against the postponement to September this year, reported MIA on Saturday.
Leaders of the country's two largest parties, Zoran Zaev, prime minister from the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, and Hristijan Mickoski, head of the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, agreed on March 29 to delay the population survey to September so that more people could receive vaccines first.
Earlier, the government insisted that the census, which was last time carried out in 2002, must be held on schedule, while the opposition said it has to be postponed considering concerns over public health.
"We were seeking a solution in the interests of citizens and the state. I am glad that this has happened," Zaev told reporters after the vote.
Representatives of the Coalition of Alliances for Albanians and Alternatives (CAAA) have been among the strongest opponents of the postponement of the census. They reacted since the meeting of leaders Zaev and Mickoski, where it was said that an agreement was reached to cancel the registration process on March 29. According to them, DUI, which pretends to be the representative of Albanians in the Government, once again underestimated its own electorate and all Albanians.
Zoran Zaev himself confirmed that he had notified Ahmeti of the decision to cancel the registration only by telephone and that he had not asked him for his position. "DUI today turned into a party that does only harm to Albanians, this time by postponing the census," CAAA said.

The health ministry said the total tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Macedonia has reached 132,740 so far, with 108,197 recoveries and 3,860 fatalities. /