Ziadin Sela, current mayor of Struga has started his campaign for the reformation and removal of the current leader of the biggest Albanian opposition party PDSH (Albanian Democratic Party) and the project for the unification of the Albanian divided opposition in FYR Macedonia. In an exclusive interview for IBNA, Sela talks about his mission for changes at PDSH, his difficult journey, his offer for Albanians and the formation of the new government in the country
Interviewed by Naser Pajaziti
You’re promoting the idea for reforms and the election of a new leadership in the biggest opposition Albanian party PDSH. What are the activities that you’re holding in the framework of this campaign?
Sela: We are continuing our campaign for drastic reforms and changes within PDSH as the biggest Albanian party in opposition, but also for the necessary consolidation of the Albanian opposition in Macedonia, which is acting as a divided opposition. This situation has enabled BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) to win consecutive elections.
We will not rush this process. It will be a natural process within the structures of PDSH. I have offered plenty of time in order for the structures to talk, to draw conclusions and choose the best path. I expect this process to take place in a parallel way to the reforms within PDSH and for the debate to attract the support of other citizens who are not part of the structures, but also the support of other political actors who believe that BDI doesn’t deserve the support of Albanians.
What do you offer as a new alternative or a fraction within a political subject such as PDSH and why don’t you form a political party?
Sela: Our idea is not to form a new political party, but to demand changes and reformation within PDSH, which is an emblematic political force for Albanians in Macedonia and members and activists of this force deserve a new leadership, in order to win the elections and unite the Albanian opposition. It’s clear for us that the current leadership with Menduh Thaci, are constantly losing elections. We’re engaging for changes in the way that PDSH functions, the statute and other issues which are not respected or practiced. My aim is to give more leeway to party branches, because the election result depends on them.
What are the political demands of Albanians in Macedonia?
Sela: We have a political agreement, a document and a platform which was drafted by the late founder of PDSH, Arber Xhaferri. This platform demands the solution of open issues for Albanians such as equal decision making in institutions, fair and proportional allocation of the budget, the formalization of the Albanian language in the entire country, decentralization of power and the progress of the European integration process.
Do you think that Menduh Thaci must stand down from the leadership of PDSH?
Sela: Menduh Thaci must stand down as leader of the party. My idea is not for him to leave PDSH.
There are no major conflicts in the relations between Ziadin Sela and Menduh Thaci, but there are conceptual differences for essential party issues. I have constantly said that Thaci must be the honorable chairman of PDSH and head of the assembly of PDSH. This would be a natural and the best process, which would not cause divisions, but it would increase the number of members. PDSH must undergo reforms now because Albanians cannot wait endlessly for PDSH to come into power. We must do this by democratizing the structures of this party, being transparent and open and in this aspect, support will not be lacking.
What’s your opinion on the new government?
Sela: In fact, it’s the same government as the last one and I don’t see anything new. The majority of Albanians are not expecting any novelties. There’s no novelty in the total submission of the Albanian factor in the government and we have seen this since 2008 when BDI became part of the coalition with VMRO-DPMNE.
We can also see this today when, after a campaign full of promises, it signed its surrender immediately after April 27 by not putting forward any political demands in the best interests of Albania.
I see the leader of BDI, Ali Ahmeti, who has drafted a list of priorities, changing them based on his needs. He has promised NATO accession within 6 months, the same as in 2008 and 2011. 6 years have gone by since then and we’re not part of NATO or the EU. The 6 months will go by and the list of priorities will only have the puppet ministers in the government of Nikola Gruevski who will legitimize the discrimination being made to Albanians in Macedonia.