IBNA Special Report
Skopje, April 20, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Discontent has emerged within the Albanian party in power BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) in relation to its positioning in the coalition with VMRO-DPMNE, the deterioration of the situation for Albanians and the lack of political reforms. This situation has led to several officials of this party to step down.
Arben Labenishti, members of the steering committee of BDI and deputy minister of Defense, has been the first one to resign from all of his offices and the party position.
“It’s unacceptable and damaging to try and maintain power without delivering electoral promises and without implementing the Ohrid Frame Agreement, which consists of the fundamental document to build a multi-ethnic state. We must never forget that the advancement of Albanian issues in this country is strongly tied to Euro Atlantic integration, for which unfortunately, BDI has only been engaged through declarations. I’m convinced that without ethical-moral principles and without democratic values, there can be no liberties, equality and progress!”, says Arben Labenishti, who today will submit his resignation from the post of deputy minister.
His figure has sparked debates even in the Macedonian political camp, after the fact that the day which commemorates the fallen Slavo-Macedonians in the latest conflicts was not marked.
Besides Lebenishti, another protagonist who has left the party is Hazbi Lika, MP and former mayor of Tetovo. He’s known as a strong figure in this party, being an important commander of the National Liberation Army (NLA).
Through a public letter, Lika has resigned from the post of the organizational secretary of BDI. He has expressed his disgruntlement for the way things function in the party. Lika’s group is in favor of the party leaving VMRO-DPMNE governing coalition, but so far, their voice has not been heard by the leadership of the party chaired by Ali Ahmeti.
This party was also abandoned by other officials, while new developments are expected in the days to come, because many MPs, mayors and other state officials coming from BDI, support the group of those who are disgruntled.
The leader of this party, Ali Ahmeti has indirectly commented these developments.
He said that his party has built values that can confront the disgruntlement which can come from outside or within the party.
“Political opponents are coming up with pointless claims, because we have not entered politics for personal interests, but to deliver the noble scopes of the martyrs. I cannot say that we have delivered anything and that we have not had any weaknesses, but we must work together in order to deliver them”, declared Ahmeti, who said that he’s fully engaged to deliver all the promises that this party has made to the Albanian voters in FYROM.
Political analyst and diplomat, Arsim Zekolli, underlines that the withdrawals of the three senior officials of this party, are a strong blow for the head of BDI and its policies.
“These withdrawals seem insignificant, but they influence on four aspects: in the problems within the party, they cause clashes between the clan of Ali Ahmeti with other BDI officials, they impact in the domain of cross ethnic relations and in the relations of BDI with Macedonian parties and international community. It’s concerning to hear deputy minister Lebinishti’s declaration that BDI has done nothing in terms of NATO and EU declaration. This goes against the rhetoric of Ali Ahmeti that his party is focused on European integration”, declared Zekolli. According to him, the resignations show that the crisis becoming deeper.
BDI is the biggest Albanian party in FYROM, which was founded as a successor of NLA, after the end of the 2001 conflict. After 11 years in power, this party has never seen any internal fractions up until today. /ibna/