Macedonian Parliament Approved Amendments To Constitution Widening Albanians' Rights

The Macedonian parliament has approved all the fifteen amendments to the Constitution of Macedonia broadening the rights of the country's Albanian population. Right after the voting chairman of parliament Stojan Andov fixed holding a special meeting of parliament with the participation of president of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski at which the new Constitution will be officially proclaimed. The changes provide, in particular, for the use of the Albanian language as an official one in the places where the Albanians make up more 20 per cent of the population, as well as in parliament, for wider representation of this nationality in state institutions, and for proportionate representation of Albanians in local police and other bodies. The adoption of the amendments to the Constitution forms part of Trajkovski's plan to settle the crisis in Macedonia which broke out back last February. The amendments are supposed to come into effect already today, and the president's letter containing an explanation of amnesty for all the Albanians from the officially disbanded Liberation National Army who voluntarily laid down arms and did not commit war crimes must be made public in Skopje within the next few hours. Declaration of amnesty is also an element of peaceful settlement.

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