WEEKLY ANALYSIS, January 2-8, 2017
Macedonia, eroded at all the seams, with institutions in a festive euphoria, remained cut off this past week, with a metropolis that was cut off for almost an entire day. The culmination of the “successful” social policy was the homeless person who at minus 28 degrees lost his life, while social workers were celebrating Christmas. And neither New Years, nor the solemn liturgies for Christmas have erased the charges of the current politicians of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE.
Calendar wise, Macedonia started the new year with full, written pages with countless socio-political and economic problems. Whereas citizens, frozen and frightened of whether they will have enough money for heating if the polar winter should continue, replaced their festivity with uncertainty on the outcome of the political crisis, following the Przino Agreement and the early parliamentary elections on December 11.
A Platform of the ethnic Albanian parties has been adopted
Following consultations in Tirana and Pristina, the leaders of the ethnic Albanians parties in Macedonia adopted a Platform that is a condition for forming a coalition with the future partner in the government. Being aware that they have a key role in forming the next coalition, DUI, the Alliance for the Albanians and Besa set 30 requests, and the “Platform” is with a deadline for their implementation. Among them is achieving full equality in accordance with the Ohrid Agreement and the Constitution, strict implementation of the principle of multietnicity of the Constitution of Republic of Macedonia, where the Albanians are recognized as constituent people. Support of any legal or constitutional initiative that reinforces national equality for the Albanian population. Achieving full language equality, the use of the Albanian language at all levels of the government and ensuring its use as a fundamental and constitutional right. The Constitution of Republic of Macedonia should determine that the ‘Macedonian language with its Cyrillic alphabet and the Albanian language with its alphabet are the official languages in Republic of Macedonia’. A comprehensive debate on the flag, anthem and coat of arms of Republic of Macedonia, in order for the state symbols to reflect the state multi-ethnicity and ethnic equality. Adoption of a resolution in the Parliament that condemns the genocide against the Albanian people in Macedonia in the period 1912-1956, support to the unbiased work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, with no ethnic and political predispositions…”
These demands of DUI, Besa and the Alliance for the Albanians have furthermore caused a commotion, while political scientists and analysts believe that the Platform is complicating the already complex political situation in the country.
In anticipation of a new government
Even though the legitimacy of the December 11 elections and the entire election process for these early parliamentary elections is quite debatable, with the fact that the State Election Commission handed over the mandates for the next MPs, which were approved at the first constitutive session, the conditions for the next step have formally been fulfilled. Given the majority of 51 seats, VMRO-DPMNE received the mandate from President Gjorgje Ivanov. But, what remains uncertain is what moves will the parties make in the next 20 days.
Many issues are open: will all ethnic Albanian parties agree to sit down at a round table with Gruevski, who is accused of crimes in the “Wiretapping” affair, and just how prepared is he to withdraw on behalf of his membership, if one takes into consideration the fierce insults and nationalist rhetoric during the elections, directed towards the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia.
And finally, will Zoran Zaev’s SDSM, which won 49 seats, now be the new ruling party that will negotiate the details of the Albanian “Platform”, or will they wait for new elections in September?
International community with recommendations for forming a stable Government
The international community is closely monitoring the situation in Macedonia. Recommendations remain for forming a stable Government that will implement the signed political agreements, for the country to continue on its path of reforms for restoring the rule of law, media freedom, for restoring democracy…
The EU mediator Peter Vanhoutte has sent a message to the Macedonian parliamentarians to elect a Speaker of Parliament, without waiting for a new Government. A speaker that will be a “successful solution for all parliamentary parties”. He told President Gjorgje Ivanov to entrust the mandate for a new government to the candidate who he believes will not “furthermore destroy the Macedonian democracy and who, among else, will advocate for consistent work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, and an independent Macedonian judiciary overall.