Skopje, February 10, 2014/Balkan Independent News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Rumors have grown in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that Albanians will boycott presidential elections, but a clearer decision is expected to be taken by the two big Albanian parties, BDI and PDSH.
In anticipation of the decision of the two big parties, National Democratic Renaissance (RDK), a party represented in the parliament of FYR Macedonia, has decided to boycott the elections, claiming that it’s not interested to be part of this process.
“The steering committee of RDK decided to boycott the presidential elections, by not being part of this process. Through its idea for an Albanian consensual nominee for the president of the country, RDK reconfirmed once again that it’s the only political party whose priorities consist on the national interest as opposed to political interests, which the other two Albanian parties are interested on”, told IBNA the head of RDK, Rufi Osmani.
Such appeal was also launched by “RISE!” movement: “Without the votes of Albanians, no president of Macedonia can be a legitimate president of the state. We believe that in the future, the president must be elected in parliament with twice as many votes”, declared the heads of this organization.
PDSH is yet to decide if it will participate in the presidential elections or not. This was even confirmed by its chairman, Menduh Thaci.
“If we come out with a candidate, we will invite Albanians to vote for our candidate, but if we don’t have him, we will not call upon people to boycott the elections, but allow them to follow their convictions”, declared the leader of PDSH.
A final decision is expected by the party in power, BDI, a decision which follows the failure of the idea for a consensual president and refusal of this plan by the party in coalition, VMRO-DPMNE and Macedonian opposition parties.
BDI is expected to express its position about the possibility of boycott in these elections. Spokesman of BDI, Bujar Osmani declared for IBNA that this party will take a stance about the presidential elections this week.
“There’s still no final decision as to how we will act, because there’s no support about our idea for a consensual president”, said Osmani.
Gruevski: Boycott will be a serious mistake of Albanian parties
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has reacted through a press statement about the debate triggered in Skopje, by underlining that the boycott of presidential elections by Albanians would be a serious mistake of Albanian parties.
“I hope that Albanian parties will not do this and I think that if they do this, they will realize that they have made a serious mistake”, declared Mr. Gruevski.
On the other hand, Macedonian opposition parties have not commented the warnings for massive boycott from Albanian parties in FYROM.
Macedonian university professor, Goran Ilic says that the president will be elected in spite of the boycott warned by Albanians. “Even with a boycott, the president will be elected, because the necessary quorum will be achieved with the votes of the Macedonians”, says Prof. Ilic.
According to him, the atmosphere of boycott will be exploited by Albanian parties to withdraw as many Albanian voters as possible in the early parliamentary elections which are expected to be held along with the presidential elections.
Macedonians will participate in the elections, Albanians are in favor of boycott
Albanian nationals believe that there’s no reason to vote in the presidential elections, because the president has no executive powers. They also believe that Macedonian parties do not value the vote of the Albanian electorate. “In case the vote of Albanians is ignored, then we have no reason to support a Macedonian candidate. There’s a possibility not to participate even in the first round of the presidential elections, in case parties do not have a concrete offer. In the majority of cases, Albanian parties use the first round of the presidential elections to measure their political strength”, told IBNA Bekim Islami, student in the University of Tetovo.
Meanwhile, Macedonian nationals are skeptic and they say that they will examine the nominations that will be presented by political parties. “We will see as to which of the candidates will be more acceptable and decide on our vote. At the moment, we see that none of the parties has come out with a candidate”, told IBNA Vesna B, local businesswoman in Skopje.
The participation of Macedonian citizens in the presidential elections is expected to be in greater numbers, as this is expected to be a political battle between the Macedonian majority and opposition. /ibna/