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Macedonian Albanians Urge Their Parties To Shun Gruevski

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By Fatjona Mejdini

Macedonia’s tight election result has shifted attention to ethnic Albanian parties, which together won 20 MPs and are seen as possibly holding the key to the formation of a new government in Macedonia.

According to the latest results, the ruling VMRO DPMNE party won 51 of the 120 seats in parliament and the opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, won 49.

Pressure is particularly high on the largest of the Albanian parties, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, led by of Ali Ahmeti, which won 10 seats and has ruled the country in a coalition with the VMRO-DPMNE since 2008.

Fearing a repeat coalition scenario, some Albanians in Macedonia have taken to social networks to call on the DUI and on other Albanian parties not to help VMRO DPMNE leader and former prime minister Nikola Gruevski form another government.

They say his Macedonian nationalist policies have damaged the interests of Albanians who make up a quarter of the country’s population.

One online petition launched on Wednesday listed 12 arguments against any collaboration between ethnic Albanian parties and VMRO DPMNE, including biased court cases against Albanians and Gruevski’s nationalist language.

“Albanian public opinion in Macedonia asks Albanian parties to isolate Nikola Gruevski … who closed his election campaign with clearly nationalist rhetoric,” the petition read.

Known public figures in the ethnic Albanian community have also taken to social networks to call on the community’s parties not to collaborate further with VMRO DPMNE.

“Albanian political parties should not even negotiate with a party that in its campaign showed its ‘Albano-phobia’ and said false things about Albanians without never apologizing for them,” Ramadan Ramadani, an assistant professor at Tetovo university wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.

Albanian media are meanwhile talking about a possible meeting between the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, and leaders of the four Albanian parties that won seats in Macedonia’s next parliament. BIRN asked Rama’s office about this but did not get a reply by time of publication.

Albania’s Top Channel, referring to souces from the Albanian parties in Macedonia, questioned whether the DUI leader would be willing to meet Rama in Tirana, however.

Tirana is being careful not to issue any statement that might be considered interference in the internal affairs of Macedonia, however, its preference for the SDSM over VMRO DPMNE is no secret.

The SDSM positions itself as a non-ethnic, values-based party and it campaigned actively for ethnic Albanian votes in this election.

On Monday, the Albanian Foreign Minister, Ditmir Bushati in a TV interview personally congratulated Muhamed Zekiri, who is going to be an MP for Zoran Zaev’s SDSM, saying he welcomed Macedonian Albanians “taking the opportunity … to go beyond ethnic divisions”.


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Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

One thought on “Macedonian Albanians Urge Their Parties To Shun Gruevski

  • December 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm
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    American ambassador has carried out Obamas orders to destroy Macedonia.The USA paid voters to vote against the VMRO-DPMNE.Remember the Ohrid agreement,the largest Albanian Party will join the winning ethnic Macedonian Party and together form a government.No wonder Jess Bailey running between his embassy and the Election Commission to press for re-counts even that there was none whatsoever irregular voter behavior,that is called option B for the American idiotic ambassador who supports the communists.I guess the Ronald Reagan’s Evil Empire should come back starting in the Republic of Macedonia.Obama does not want outside interfirance in American elections.Mr. Obama,what is your idiot ambassador Jess Bailey doing in Macedonia?He is instructing the Election Commission to do re-count where there were no iregular instances.American democracy to whom are you selling?You have plans for Putin because of the hacking,you don’t even know who others,it was Clinton’s own people to make her more patriotic than Trump,that’s who supposedly leaked some e-mails.Are you preparing for War with Russia and not allow Trump to come to office?.

    Reply

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