A New Constitution Has Come Into Force In Macedonia

The Macedonian parliament announced on Friday about the coming into force of a new constitution of the country. This night, by a majority of votes the parliament adopted all fifteen amendments to the constitution which widen the rights of the Albanian population. During the many-hour discussion which preceded the adoption of the amendments, many parliamentarians said that they were forced to vote for the amendments in order to stop the conflict. Under the new fundamental law the status of a state-forming nation will have, apart from Macedonians, Serbs, Turks, Vlachs, Gipsies, Bosnians and other national minorities. The Macedonian Orthodox Church is not the only confession which is mentioned in the new constitution. The amendments provide, in particular, for the use of the Albanian language, as an official one, in the places where more than twenty percent of the population are Albanians and also in the parliament. The adoption of the amendments to the constitution is part of Boris Trajkovski's peace plan for settling the crisis in Macedonia which broke out in February this year. During this conflict seventy servicemen and policemen, as well as a great number of civilians were killed, but part of them are still considered missing.

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