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SOCIETY Parliament passes anti-discrimination law

The 120-seat Parliament on Tuesday passed the Law on Prevention and Protection from Discrimination after 70 MPs voted in favor.

Under the law, the principle of equality in protection from discrimination and of human rights and liberties is secured. All the while adopting international standards of the UN and the EU, the country is also providing its citizens with legal protection and society that embraces diversity and offers equal conditions for development of all.

The law stipulates, among other things, that the members of the anti-discrimination  commission should be nominated by a selection committee comprised of seven members – two MPs each from the ruling majority and the opposition and two civil society representatives.

The anti-discrimination law was already adopted. However, the Constitutional Court, citing procedural omissions, revoked the law in May 2020. The lack of anti-discrimination law in the country was also noted by the European Commission in its 2020 progress report on North Macedonia.

Furthermore, the bill on amending the Law for the Protection of the Population from Communicable Diseases will enter fact-tracked procedure at a session after it is debated by the members of the Parliament’s committees on health and legislation.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a need has arisen to further regulate the law defining which health institutions shall treat patients infected with the new virus and increase the competence of inspectors tasked with controlling the application of the health safety measures,” says the elaboration of the draft-amendments.

An amendment filed by the opposition, proposing the establishment of a new commission for protection against diseases, was not approved at today’s session.

Speaker Talat Xhaferi said he couldn’t include the item on the agenda because it had been only prepared in Macedonian. In line with the Law on Languages, it also needs to be translated in Albanian. The item will be discussed at a session on October 29, according to him.

Also, MPs at the session adopted changes to the law on the protection of whistleblowers, and the law on court fees.

Furthermore, Parliament verified the mandate of four lawmakers after four others resigned. Mirche Adzievski, Lidija Tasevska, Rina Ajdari and Miroslav Jovanovikj are new members of Parliament.

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