FYR Macedonia facing elections and parallel dilemmas

FYR Macedonia facing elections and parallel dilemmas

Skopje, March 4, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Early parliamentary are now a fact in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They will be held along with the second round of April 27, 2014 presidential elections.

Within this week, parliament is expected to be dissoluted, as the biggest Albanian party, which is part of the governing coalition-Democratic Union for Integration (BDI) deposited an incentive for the dissolution of parliament.

Following this incentive, the biggest Macedonian party of premier Nikola Gruevski, VMRO-DPMNE also said that it supports it.

Opposition parties are also ready to enter early parliamentary elections. These parties launched accusations according to which the whole situation of the early parliamentary elections is a well prepared scenario by the governing coalition parties, but these parties denied these accusations.

Albanian party, BDI, which was the initiator for the dissolution of the coalition and parliament, stressed that the cause that led it to take this decision related to the failure of the biggest Macedonian party, VMRO-DPMNE to accept their proposal for the election of a joint presidential candidate. BDI had demanded a consensual candidate, which would be acceptable for both largest communities, Macedonians and Albanians.

“A repeated scenario”

According to the deadlines of the Electoral Code, early parliamentary elections will be held on April 27, on the same day as the run-off of the presidential elections. Meanwhile, the first round of presidential elections will be held on April 13. In order to respect these deadlines, parliament must be dissoluted until the end of this week.

The opposition considers this as a scenario which has been seen before. The largest Macedonian opposition party LSDM (Social Democratic Macedonian League) and the second Albanian party in opposition, PDSH (Albanian Democratic Party) say that they are nonetheless ready to enter early elections.

Parties accept a confrontation in early elections

Early elections were a signal launched months ago by Albanian party BDI, which was holding talks for a consensual presidential candidate and it demanded this as an agreement by the coalition party, VMRO-DPMNE.

The refusal of this idea led to this party to deposit an incentive for the dissolution of the coalition and parliament. This party explained the issues of the dissolution of this government.

“BDI incentive comes as a result of the failure to accept the idea of a consensual president. We confirm our stand about the need to reformat parliamentary composition through early elections. This will offer a new momentum to the Euro integrating processes, which are a priority for BDI. We also have a new agreement as far as several issues concerning Albanians are related, such as a wider use of the Albanian language, a fair representation in institutions and other issues”, told IBNA the head of the BDI parliamentary group, Nexhati Jakupi.

Gruevski launches a series of accusations against BDI

VMRO-DPMNE accepted the offer for early elections, but the leader of this party accused the Albanian party of the coalition, BDI during the weekend convention of the party of imposing conditions in order to gain more power.

“The objective of BDI is to get hold of the three leading positions in the country. Behind the incentive for early elections is a scenario which would enable a three year period without elections in the country, in order for VMRO government to accept Greek positioning on the name dispute. But, VMRO-DPMNE doesn’t submit to threats. They demand a consensual candidate in order to fail in their demand and then to jeopardize presidential elections through their propaganda and then to put pressure for constitutional changes in order for the president of republic to be elected by political parties and not the people”, declared prime minister Gruevski.

Renata Treneska, MP from LSDM, told IBNA that the opposition will participate in both presidential and early parliamentary elections, but according to her, there must be urgent amendments in the Electoral Code, in order to adjust deadlines for the campaign, the representation of parties in the media and other rules.

“We urgently appeal for the government to define deadlines for the presidential electoral campaign and parliamentary elections. With a well determined rule, we would prevent chaos and a suspicious situation which could benefit the current government”, said the opposition MP.

Albanian opposition parties said that they are ready to enter presidential and early parliamentary elections.

PDSH is the only Albanian party with its own presidential candidate, Prof. Iljaz Halimi.

‘We’re ready and our objective is for our candidate to enter the second round of the presidential elections and race against the Macedonian candidate.  This way, we will manifest our power and we will know how to articulate our power and our demands for Albanian causes”, says leader of PDSH, Menduh Thaci.

Analysts: Early elections were an anticipated scenario

Political analysts offer their insights on the early elections and according to them, this situation was a scenario.

Macedonian political analyst and expert of communication sciences, Petar Arsovski says that the holding of early elections along with presidential elections is in favor of both parties of the governing coalition, VMRO-DPMNE and BDI.

“These parties are interested on early elections, because at the moment, they still enjoy support in polls. These elections may be favorable in forming a new governing majority. They certainly have their own interest. To them it’s better than wait until 2015, a time when they may have lost the trust of the voters”, says Arsovski.

Albanian political analyst, Ismet Ramadani says that early parliamentary elections are a scenario prepared by the largest Macedonian party in power, VMRO-DPMNE.

But, according to him, even if this party wins, the country will not expect changes in the aspect of Euro-Atlantic integration, changes in relation to issues concerning Albanians, but also changes in relation to the name dispute.

Ramadani demands from Albanian parties to reach an agreement and to make it clear that they will not enter a coalition with a party which blocks important processes of the country.

“Albanian parties must reach an agreement according to which they will not be part of the government if VMRO-DPMNE is in majority. I know that such warning would unify the Macedonian block, especially the nationalist one, but then, the international factor would make a serious intervention in order to find a more progressive Macedonian partner, ready to cooperate with Albanian subjects in order to give way to integration”, declared analyst Ramadani, speaking for IBNA.

Citizens are less interested on the elections

Citizens in the country stress that there’s no interest for double elections and that this would increase political tensions.

Antoneta M., a doctor from Skopje told IBNA that the country has urgent needs to reduce unemployment and boost up economic growth and not to hold elections.

“The solution doesn’t consist on the elections, because they are only a waste of time and increase tensions and impoverish the citizens. I would want this electoral cycle to go by as soon as possible and without problems, but it must be followed by a new page of hope for improvements in the economic and political aspect”, says Antoneta.

But, a part of the Albanian public opinion believes that this community has more tensions and problems, especially about the situation of presidential elections.

“As Albanians, we have real problems. We have a presidential candidate coming from PDSH, while on the other hand, the party in power, BDI calls on Albanian voters not to participate. Apart from activists and party militants, the rest of the citizens are facing a dilemma as to whether they will participate in the first round of presidential elections or not. One party invites people to vote massively and the other calls on boycott. These situations damage the citizens”,  said Blerton S., a professor from Tetovo for IBNA.

Ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, parties have started to open their electoral offices and party structures have started to mobilize throughout the country. /ibna/