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The President of The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia, Slobodan Trendafilov, at the press conference held on 31.01.2024, on behalf of The Federation of Trade Unions together with all affiliated trade unions, demanded the resignation of the three judges Shpend Devaja, Isamedin Limani and Nake Georgiev from the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia, who as part of the judicial council voted in favor and with that passed the verdict for confiscation of the property ownership of the Federation or known as The Workers’ Home.

"As you all know, the judgment of The Supreme Court for confiscation of the property owned by The Federation was made public. Judge Shpend Devaja as the president of the Council, who also signed the verdict, together with Judge Isamedin Limani and Judge Nake Georgiev are the three people who we can say that cost the judiciary in the Republic of North Macedonia and who in this situation are to blame for the public perspective on the national judiciary in general including the highest court in the country, to be considered corrupt and fully influenced whether politically or financially. These three people as part of a Council of five judges, including Judge Elitsa Krstevska and Judge Aneta Boškovska who we must say voted firmly against such a decision, by using the excuse of having the right of their own free will when deciding, voted in favor of the confiscation without any arguments, without any legal explanation based on evidences and by using a Law that is not in legal force and is not part of our legal system” said Trendafilov.

These supreme-court judges, as explained by Trendafilov, issued a nine-page ruling with a rationale in which only a small paragraph refers to one law from 1998 that to make the situation more serious is no longer in force or The Law on Associations and Foundations. Furthermore in 2010 a new Law on Associations and Foundations was adopted in which is stated that with the entry into force of the new law, the law from 1998 is not valid anymore and cannot be used. Regardless of all said before, these laws mentioned above are not applicable to trade unions and that’s why no matter the year they can’t be a base for reaching such a decision about the trade union property.

In addition and as proof that neither of the Laws mentioned above (from 1998 and 2010) applies to the trade unions is the fact that since 1993 The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSM) is registered according to the Law on Labor Relations.

"I am very sorry that the judges from the highest court of our country do not know that since 2010 there is a new Law on Associations and Foundations in which Article 2 clearly states that the provisions of this law do not apply to political parties, churches, religious communities, religious groups, trade unions, chambers and other types of association that are determined by special laws" noted Trendafilov.

"The confidence in the judiciary system in our country is only two percent, such a low percentage can’t come as a surprise especially when we have this types of judges who choose laws and choose which ones they will use in the dispute and which to apply for the period of time that suits only to them is truly a disaster and disastrous for the judiciary and may result with the violation of the honor of all those other judges who conscientiously perform their work" said the president.

"When voting for the confiscation of the Workers’ Home in a criminal manner, these three judges didn’t even respect the decision of The Constitutional Court of The Republic of North Macedonia from 1992. In its rationale the judges from the Constitutional Court abolished the decision for the determination of the deadlines for taking over the assets of social and political organizations. Furthermore they didn’t even respect the Supreme Court's verdict from 24 November 2004, in which their colleagues rejected as unfounded the then request for confiscation of the property owned by The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia," pointed out Trendafilov.

He said that in the process of making such decision or to grab in a criminal way the Workers’ Home from the workers, the Federation suspect corruption of the highest levels, huge political influence and pressure in the Supreme Court of The Republic of North Macedonia.

“The least that these judges can do now is to issue a new verdict that will correct their mistake" added Trendafilov.

The press conference continued with the information that The Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia has approached and called all their sister unions from the European and World Trade Unions Confederations.

“The entire world trade union leadership is willing to come to the Republic of North Macedonia precisely in the period of the elections, so they will put pressure to all political parties and at the end they will have to ask for responsibility for these judges" said Trendafilov.

If these judges do not resign by Friday, next week we will start a procedure to determine responsibility before the Judicial Council of the Republic of North Macedonia that will lead to their dismissal.

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