IBNA Op-Ed/Chaos in Skopje vs Tirana Platform

IBNA Op-Ed/Chaos in Skopje vs Tirana Platform

By Naser Pajaziti

The country is heading to the unknown and this process is associated with institutional chaos. Four months after the early general elections, the country is being led by a technocrat government, whose term in office has run out and whose job was only to organize last December’s elections. But this government continues to be in office and is led by PM Emil Dimitrev, a strong supporter of VMRO-DPMNE.

Next month, mayors too will no longer have a mandate, because the local government elections which must be held next month, have not yet been announced, due to the fact that the speaker of Parliament has not been elected yet. The main political battle is being held in Parliament. Social democrats led by Zoran Zaev along with Albanian parties have managed to secure the necessary votes to elect the speaker of Parliament and the new government, but this process has been blocked by VMRO-DPMNE, which has chosen a strategy of obstructions with long speeches and debates, thus making it impossible for the speaker of Parliament to be elected.

Gruevski’s party has said that it will not allow the election of a government based on the so called Tirana platform. According to them, the document signed on 29 December by Albanian parliamentary parties for the advancement of the rights of the second largest ethnic community in the country is a product which has come out of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s office.

Following this claim which has been denied by Albanian parties, the president of the country, George Ivanov didn’t mandate the leader of SDSM (Macedonian Social Democratic Union) for the formation of the government. Ivanov said that Zaev has not given up on the platform which according to him, is threatening the sovereignty of the country and leads the country toward federalization.

Meanwhile, Zaev and his allies form the Albanian parties are deliberating different options to form a government through the voting in Parliament, without being mandated by Ivanov. Constitutionalists in the country say that it is actually possible to elect a government in Parliament, without the president’s mandate.

Besides these developments, the country has also seen protests in the past 45 days, where supporters of VMRO-DPMNE contest the formation of the new government between social democrats and Albanian parties. According to them, Tirana Platform is part of this government’s agenda, thus threatening the Macedonian identity and the future of the country.

The vocabulary of the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski has become tougher in the recent days. He has appealed to his political opponent, Zaev not to form the government, as he will be punished by the people. Gruevski sees the solution through fresh general elections along with local government elections. This is one of his main conditions. Meanwhile, social democrats and Albanian parties want to form a new government.

According to social democrats, Gruevski and his supporters are doing everything to escape punishment for the abuses made during his time in office since 2006.

The situation doesn’t seem to have changed even after the efforts made by the international community. Meanwhile, the appeals launched by senior EU officials for the solution of the crisis and the formation of the new government continue to be ignored by president George Ivanov and Nikola Gruevski.

Experts of political affairs say without a strong reaction by the international community, the crisis will not be solved.

*The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line