Albanian parties, in a race to be part of Gruevski’s government

Albanian parties, in a race to be part of Gruevski’s government

Skopje, May 5, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

A debate has opened in Skopje as to which party will be part of the governing coalition with VMRO-DPMNE of the current prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, who won the April 27 elections.

The largest Albanian parties, Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), which won the majority of the Albanian votes with 19 seats in parliament and Democratic Albanian Party (PDSH) which only won 7 seats, are rivaling each other. They have been involved in debates as to which of them will be in a government with Gruevski.

Although it was defeated in the elections, PDSH claims that its alliances with VMRO-DPMNE and pre electoral agreements favor it more in being part of Gruevski’s government.

In spite of these debates, VMRO-DPMNE has invited BDI, as the winning party among Albanian voters, to negotiate about the formation of the coalition, talks which have started at the end of last week, far from the media and public opinion.

Through several media in favor of the government, VMRO-DPMNE has warned that the talks will be difficult, as BDI doesn’t accept the elected president, George Ivanov to be legitimate and due to the requests for constitutional changes on the use of Albanian language, election of the president through parliament and other requests of an ethnic nature.

VMRO-DPMNE doesn’t want to comment the talks being held about the creation of the new government, but its leaders have unofficially warned that in case the talks with BDI are not successful, then they will continue with PDSH of Menduh Thaci.

BDI doesn’t offer any details as to what’s the agenda of negotiations with VMRO-DPMNE and what issues are being discussed, but unofficially, the key issues are said to relate to Euro Atlantic integration of the country and the advancement of the status of Albanians.

Accusations between BDI and PDSH

Head of PDSH, Menduh Thaci declared during the weekend that the party that he leads will be part of the new government. Thaci has also been ironic in relation to the meetings between Ahmeti and Gruevski and the start of talks between VMRO-DPMNE and BDI.

“BDI is not holding any talks with the government. They are only going to Gruevski to kiss his hand. I repeat, as far as  BDI and Ali Ahmeti are concerned, we do not take them into account and we will be part of the government. This is our battle”, declared Thaci.

But, BDI has reacted through a press release against PDSH by stressing that this party is playing a damaging role for Albanians even after the April 27 elections.

“This party doesn’t seem to learn anything from the consecutive defeats among Albanians in Macedonia. The punishment given to them by Albanian voters was not enough even this time to correct their political positioning and they continue to behave like a Trojan Horse at the detriment of the Albanian interests. Their use as an instrument by different circles to blackmail and weaken the Albanian position in the talks for joint government aims to undermine the Albanian political demands and Albanian voters and their dignity”, says BDI’s press statement.

Analysts: Gruevski is playing political games

Political analysts are closely following these developments, offering different comments on them. Analyst Arsim Zekoli says that the talks for the new government have many unknown elements and challenges and that Gruevski has built his strategy. “Negotiations with BDI will be delayed and will be on the shadow. BDI demands are expected to be unacceptable for Gruevski and his party. This strategy is used in order to take advantage of the approach of PDSH and its involvement in the government”, says Zekoli. He says that Gruevski is playing his game with the two Albanian parties, by not refusing any of them. According to analysts, these developments once again bring to attention the year 2006, when PDSH became part of the coalition with VMRO-DPMNE, although it had fewer seats in parliament than BDI.

In the early parliamentary April 27 elections, VMRO-DPMNE has won 61 seats. In order to form a government, it only needs another MP and this MP is expected to be the GROM party MP. With 62 MPs, VMRO-DPMNE secures a majority in the 123 seat parliament. The Constitution of the country doesn’t sanction a governing coalition between the biggest Albanian party and the biggest Macedonian one, but coalitions between them are a democratic practice for joint government established since the independence of the country in 1991. /ibna/