DIALOG IS NO TREASON

The political chaos tormenting Macedonia could have been avoided, but as it happened anyway, it could have been abated by offering good will and a few sincere and honest words. Those few words can still be spoken, and those who will voice them will be remembered for their good deed, not bad, and as virtuous people, not traitors

 

Xhabir Deralla

MK ParliamentAgitprop machinery is working full steam. We had plenty to see, except for a democratic political competition. Political opponents are regarded and treated as deadly enemy, different opinions are considered personal attacks, and citizens are nothing short of a cannon fodder used for political showdown.

The opposition's demands for postponement of candidate list submission and of the elections, as well as scheduling early parliamentary elections in case the opposition wins more votes at the local elections were received in the manner of the Spaghetti western movies.  The response was something of the style "forget about demands, here's what you need to consider, if you don't accept this by 19h tonight, your fault, not ours..." The ruling party could have turned an open ear to the opposition's proposal.

In other words, as it happens, all those declarations of readiness for dialog proved to be nothing but a hot air. Perhaps the election boycott is not the most fortunate option for the opposition to take; but the events and the behavior of the ruling party were leading straight to a political crisis one way or another. Hiding behind legalism will not make things better, and legitimacy is certainly not built on making references to the law only at times when that suits somebody.

We live at times of pressure, intimidation, and blackmail. Silence is something we got used to. Breaching people's rights and freedoms, discrimination and politicization are abundant.  Freedom of speech and media are placed under the deep shadow of the government. People are greatly divided and look at each other with hatred and intolerance. Fear and uncertainty, not virtues, rule our daily lives. Political tensions brought divisions, agitation and disrespect, even in the families themselves.

Institutions are deeply submerged under the shackle of narrow political interests and operation based on political party affiliation. They do not operate as service for the citizens, but rather as the party's ivory tower; making citizens lose confidence in them. All of that is by itself reason for the loss of the political processes’ legitimacy, irrespective of whether the opposition has boycotted the elections or not. The boycott only adds up to the already complicated situation.

The government possesses all required instruments to improve the situation in the country by creating conditions for overcoming of the political crisis and restoring the dialog that has been lifeless for years now.  Saying that the government possesses the instrument to improve the situation is in fact a compliment, meaning that the country is not in total chaos.  Not yet. It is high time for urgent steps to be taken for the democracy in the country to be restored, before we reach the point of no return, and that point is not so out of reach.

Day after day, each and every one of us, men and women, citizens of this country, faces uncertainty and problems. Each day, in a country shaped by these political elites, is a day lost, a time wasted in vain, a day of survival, not a day to enjoy life. Instead of having some peace of mind, this day will again end with yet another disappointment and anxiety, yet another dread about the day to come.

The country is like a carriage drawn by mad horses, commanded by vanity drunk coachmen. And the abyss is close at hand.

The political chaos tormenting Macedonia could have been avoided, but as it happened anyway, it could have been abated by offering good will and a few sincere and honest words. Those few words can still be spoken, and those who will voice them will be remembered for their good deed, not bad, and as virtuous people, not traitors.

Reconciliation is not a defeat; dialog is no treason. When one comes to understand that, Macedonia will have good chances to become a democratic country.  In the opposite case, the crisis will deepen further, and eventually turn from political into security crisis.

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