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COPENHAGEN, 13 March 2015 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Special Representative on South East Europe, Roberto Battelli (MP, Slovenia), today expressed concern about increasingly turbulent political developments in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

He noted that the ongoing developments in Skopje are, above all, the latest manifestation of a protracted absence of constructive dialogue across the political spectrum. The Special Representative also emphasized the critical need to safeguard the legality, independence and impartiality of the country's institutions, while promoting accountability, in line with the Constitution and relevant legislation.

"As a citizen of the region and as one of many who genuinely care about this country's progress, I urge political leaders to act in a responsible manner -- in the interest of citizens and to the benefit of the wider neighborhood," Battelli said.

"It is critical that all political parties contribute to finding a solution to the current crisis and work to ensure a functioning parliament. A parliament that supports democratic mechanisms and dialogue to deal with this situation is in the best interest of all," he added.

The Special Representative also urged the government and the opposition to allow the competent judicial bodies to undertake swift and thorough investigations with full independence and transparency.

In reference to the troubling allegations of large-scale interception of private communications, Battelli noted the OSCE PA's position on accountability in the security sector, including intelligence services, as reflected in its 2014 Resolution on the Democratic Control of the Public and Private Security Sectors.

"I am very proud of this Resolution, which I personally introduced. It sets an important standard regarding the need for enhanced accountability, especially at a time when citizens are seeking answers to their questions," Battelli said.

The Special Representative also recalled the existence within the parliament in Skopje of the Committee for Supervising the Work of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate and the Intelligence Agency, which is to include members from the political opposition. He urged all political actors to make full use of the Committee to promote accountability, particularly in the context of the current allegations.