In this exclusive interview for IBNA, former ambassador of FYROM in the United States of America, Nikola Dimitrov talks about the political crisis and the June 5 elections. Being a member of the VMRO-DPMNE party of former PM Nikola Gruevski, he has become one of the biggest critics of this party.
According to him, the two coalition parties VMRO-DPMNE and BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) want to remain in power through these fast tracked elections in order not to be held accountable for their criminality and institutional corruption.
Interviewed by Naser Pajaziti/IBNA
IBNA: We have a tense political crisis, elections have been decided to be held on June 5, while opposition has decided to boycott them. Do you think that we will have elections without the opposition?
Dimitrov: In our country, everything is possible. What is being seen is that we will have elections without the opposition. The opposition doesn’t have much choice. It must either boycott the elections or participated in this crisis or failure to deliver the obligations of the Przino agreement. I think that we are entering a phase which leads to an escalation of the crisis. We will have a situation where elections will not be recognized by the opposition. Reactions from the international community are expected to come after this along with other negative developments for the country.
IBNA: Everyone is focusing on the Electoral Central Commission, which until 15 April, it must approve the list of voters. Strong debates are taking place at CEC about the list and the number of irregularities. Do you think that pressure is being put against CEC this way?
Dimitrov: It is not honest to expect solutions only from CEC, because this is responsible only for one of the three elements, namely the adjustment of the voters’ list. But what about the media issue which was avoided. Besides this, no obligation for the separation of the state from the party has been delivered. Information that I have received from NGOs indicate that pressure has been exerted on public administration employees, especially in education, public enterprises, but also private sector. We have cases where state resources are being used for party’s activities. This shows that we have no conditions for fair and democratic elections.
IBNA: The international community has recently signaled that there can be elections on June 5 if political parties reach a deal on pending issues. Do you think there’s time?
Dimitrov: I believe that there will be pressure against the opposition to participate in the elections. But it will be more honest if the international community, USA and EU in particular to openly declare if the conditions for the elections have been delivered or not. I think that the advices that they give for political parties in the country are not very clear. It will be very hard to protect the principles that are promoted by the international community. What’s important now is to mount pressure against political parties in power and not the opposition. The scope of the Przino agreement was to put pressure against the party in power which is not interested on acting according to the rules. Someone must put pressure.
IBNA: Do you think that the elections must be held as soon as possible in order to put an end to the political crisis but also to the gridlock of the country in its Euro Atlantic integration path?
Dimitrov: It is very clear that citizens and international community are fed up. But rapid solutions are not what the country needs now. However, if this country must go through this difficult process, then so be it. It will be more difficult if we hold elections without the opposition. The crisis will not end with bad elections. There must be legitimate elections. The international community is interested for our country to enjoy stability. I call on them to be more sincere and clearer. The current parties in power want to solve this crisis by holding elections on June 5. But then, on June 6 there will be a fresh climate, by forgetting everything that has happened. This is a dangerous game and I hope that it will not happen anymore. /balkaneu.com/