IBNA Op-Ed/25 seats- now is the time!

IBNA Op-Ed/25 seats- now is the time!

By Ermira Mehmeti

The electoral campaign has started. The first party conventions have been held, MP lists have been presented and judging by the way that the campaign has started, it’s clear how it’s going to continue and where it will focus.

Alongside the domestic campaign, there’s also a battle for the three seats of the Diaspora and it looks like that the strongest declarations are being made on that aspect. This political perspective which has been currently created doesn’t leave any doubts that the political battle in the country will once again take place between BDI and VMRO-DPMNE.

At first glance, this may sound absurd for many people due to the fact that these two parties have governed together for 6 years and together they’ve shared their policies in the government and parliament. But, there are some great differences between the political subjects which show that these two parties continue to be the main rivals of the political scene in the country albeit they’ve governed together.

Initially, joint government between BDI and VMRO-DPMNE has been conditioned by the will of the majority of citizens from the two main ethnic groups in the country-Albanians and Macedonians.

Based on this will and basic condition in every democracy, to us it’s been absolutely necessary to negotiate with VMRO-DPMNE about joint governing. This has not been and will not be a strategic partnership; it has not been and will not be a brotherly coalition of unprincipled interests and at the detriment of citizens and it has never been a coalition built in restaurants and cafes, like it often happens when accords are made against the interests of the citizens and for the benefit of different groups in the framework of political parties.

Our political rivalry has been growing during the joint government. Our differences as far as democratization of society, especially reflected through the reform in justice, media culture, independence and division of the state from the party, remain the biggest ones. The most important one here is the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, especially in implementing its essence and turning this essence into a new modern mentality of our society.

The culmination of this rivalry was seen during the parliamentary debate in favor and against the controversial law on the so called “branitella”.

Meanwhile, the wisdom and ability of chairman Ahmeti to moderate these frictions without allowing them to dominate public opinion, in order to prevent institutional and political crises of an ethnic nature have been considered by skeptics as “inferiority” and “incompetence” of the Albanian partner in the government to change the direction of things.

But, let us try to see this relation from another perspective: How would the state and our society look if Democratic Union for Integration was not part of the joint government? Our political investment has been big and precious, but it has been the only alternative due to the basic principle of democracy according to which citizens want political parties that they vote for, to be represented in institutions.

Thirdly, let us see the rhetoric of the campaign which has just started. It seems that VMRO-DPMNE doesn’t clash with LSDM as the main Macedonian opposition party on political concepts and the future of the country, but it does this with BDI. While their main concern with LSDM is to shed light on corruptive affairs, with BDI they clash over approaches that relate to the state and these clashes are often nationalist.

The speech of the chairman of the party in the presidential convention, the propaganda pamphlets for the mobilization of diaspora, the statuses in social networks of the party exponents, editorials in their media, all promote the idea of an absolute majority in parliament in order not to allow ‘blackmail and conditioning’ from BDI!

This mobilization is often helped by the adventure like behavior of PDSH taking place in the recent days in the interest of power and on behalf of old strategic alliances, They are willingly doing a service to the political concept which only has one scope: delegitimize and defactorize Albanians in Macedonia! Because the project that started in 2006, by leaving outside the government the legitimate will of Albanians was blocked in 2008 and what’s happening now seems to aim a revitalization and engagement until this very dangerous ideal is finally fulfilled.

For these reasons, these elections for Albanians are not just a choice between one Albanian party or another, but elections between political concepts for the future of Macedonia. Will they vote for the revitalization of the 2006 concept which institutionalized vassalage or the concept of sealing once and for all the Albanian state formation identity? VMRO-DPMNE demands 63 seats against Albanians. In essence, this is a call to raise the awareness of Macedonians because the political power of Albanians is challenging the old model of the organization of society and the state and this political power of Albanians is concentrated on BDI and its leader Ali Ahmeti. This is why Albanians must understand this call in the correct way and in response, they must mobilize in support of Democratic Union for Integration. We don’t demand 25 seats at the detriment of nobody! We demand 25 seats for Albanians, for the state formation interests of the Albanians and for the European future of Albanians. The time is now!

(Ermira Mehmeti, MP and a senior official of Albanian party BDI and MP candidate in the early elections)