Athens, January 9, 2016/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Ali Ahmeti, the leader of the Democratic Union for Integration and a junior coalition partner in the fYRO Macedonian government since 2008 spoke to IBNA in an exclusive interview about the upcoming election in the FYR of Macedonia. Ali Ahmeti, 57, is a politician of Albanian descent.
How important is the April election for political stability in FYR of Macedonia?
The April elections are extraordinarily important for stability, for the security of the country and perhaps the region too. The 24th of April will mark the end of the domestic political crisis in the Republic of Macedonia and all our engagements aim at attaining our Euro Atlantic objectives.
Which dilemma will dominate the election? Will cleaning up the political system be the primary issue or will the Macedonian-Albanian dilemma dominate again?
We have a signed agreement between the country’s four political forces, the parliamentary forces, with mediation from Brussels, which is called the agreement of Skopje, the agreement of June 2, through which all sides agreed on the electoral code and a wide government. We have agreed on the opposition to return to parliament, on the prime minister of the country to resign and for a prime minister to be appointed in order to hold the elections along with a technocratic government, where all parliamentary forces in the country will be responsible for policy. So far we have been successful in implementing the agreement and we expect the April 24 elections to be honest, fair, democratic and acceptable to all sides and in compliance with European standards.
Are you ready – and if so in what way – to help with finding a solution to the name dispute between FYR of Macedonia and Greece?
Of course a solution to the name dispute is very important for us. As Albanians, we are interested in this problem being solved as soon as possible, to find a solution, to reach acceptable compromise for all the sides, because this is the only obstacle for our country to become a NATO member and to launch the accession talks with the European Union. We are interested in our countries having good relations in all areas, to have permanent friendship, because we are friendly countries and we must all contribute to build sustainable peace. We must all work for peaceful Balkans, more prosperous in all fields, for better relations between all the neighbors and for all countries together to achieve EU integration. We have worked and we will work further in the future to solve this issue as soon as possible. Of course, the solution of this problem is in the best interests of both our countries, but also of the stability and progress of the entire region.
What is your opinion on resurgent nationalism seen in the Balkans? Is there a solution and which is it?
The Balkans must not look to the past, but towards the future. We, in the Balkans, have had many conflicts, wars, tragedies, many massacres, many reprisals, but even today’s Europe, which operates as a community, doesn’t have too bright a past. There have been bloody wars in different European countries such as between France and Great Britain, between Germany and Sweden, between France and Germany, but everyone has reflected and worked towards the past being a painful moment in time which must not be repeated. Therefore, to have sustainable reconciliation there must be courageous and responsible politicians who will not forget the future and who learn a lesson in order not to repeat that past, because it’s not a past that must be seen with admiration, but with pain and reflection in order not to be repeated again.
What is your forecast on the election result in FYR of Macedonia and on what conditions will a coalition government be supported?
I don’t want predict the result because I don’t want to turn into a weatherman or a fortune teller. The citizens will decide who will win. Let the best party win, let the one who will work more for the citizens win. As far as post-election coalitions are concerned, of course there will be a coalition between the two largest political forces in the country; between the political force that wins the majority of votes from the Macedonian community and the political force that wins the majority of votes from the Albanian community. In the Republic of Macedonia, people still vote on an ethnic basis and conditions for parties to base their activity on ideology are not in place yet. Thus, in the future we must turn to voting for parties with an ideological platform. I believe that we will build the next government after the April 24 elections. The two largest political forces will govern together, one from the Albanian community and the other from the Macedonian community that will win the elections.