CHRONICLE OF ANNOUNCED ELECTION “BATTLEFIELD”
Writes: Bardhyl Zaimi
In Macedonia it is always time for early elections. The completion of the Prespa Agreement did not pass without the “call” for confrontation in the election “battlefield”. Immediately after the Agreement had been signed with Greece, the main opposition party from the Macedonian political bloc, VMRO-DPMNE, called on Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to measure the forces. Early elections have been also requested by the Alliance of Albanians by Ziadin Sela. It seems that the opposition parties in the Macedonian and Albanian political blocs will endeavor to hold early parliamentary elections together with the presidential election.
The parties from the government coalition, SDSM and DUI, were reserved in connection with the idea of early elections. They emphasized that then it was not the time, and meanwhile they also stressed that the reforms remained a priority for the government. According to the SDSM, the elections at this moment hinder economic developments. In any case, Prime Minister Zaev announced that as a party they would consider this possibility. Zaev also ironized the VMRO-DPMNE leader’s election duel, saying “Mickovski wants elections, but asks God not to have any.” Meanwhile, Mickovski stressed that SDSM would survive a massive defeat at the early parliamentary elections. All his “victorious” statements remain related to the position of the party he represents in relation to the Prespa Agreement, whose adoption he considers to be unlawful because of “the failure of the referendum”.
It is precisely this premise for the “illegitimate” adoption of the Prespa Agreement that the VMRO-DPMNE seems to want to burn “engines” for early elections along with the presidential elections. In the last statements of this party, more persistence is noted for early elections. This party also announced a boycott of the presidential election if there were no early parliamentary elections.
The rhetoric for early elections was continued in the Albanian political bloc, between DUI and AA. DUI pleaded against the elections, but at the same time stressed that if they were to be held, it would double the votes for the Albanians. Meanwhile, the AA representatives claimed that DUI for the first time opposed the early elections, suggesting they were afraid of the election.
Despite all the explanations, early elections look like a good “temptation” for opposition parties that believe they can win, while “temptation” also applies to ruling parties that believe they can seal their rule over the next four years with the elections.
The public have already mentioned the political “motives” of each party for early parliamentary elections. Probably, at this point, assessed as suitable for getting more mandates, the new leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickovski, sees another opportunity to “clear” the party from the exhibits and structures of the previous leadership. In a different perspective, the “victory” or the loss of these elections will result in the same benefit for him, and this is related to strengthening his position as a leader of the main opposition Macedonian party.
In a wider context, at a time of great international support after the adoption of the Prespa Agreement, it seems that even for Prime Minister Zaev early elections may be a desirable option. This government has “divided” the rule in several political entities and this can be a good “motive” for crystallization of another electoral will that would give more power to the rule of Prime Minister Zaev’s party.
Even the Albanian political bloc seems to be doing the same mathematics. However, the calculations of the AA, as well as Kasimi’s Besa Movement, refer to another rating they may have on the Albanian electorate, especially after the “battles” of the “Albanian issue”, as calling their commitment to constitutional changes during the adoption of the Prespa Agreement. DUI’s reaction to this issue immediately followed. The parliamentary speaker, who comes from this party, has already signed the Law on the Use of Languages, which means promoting the official use of the Albanian language, claiming that this issue has been completed by this party, despite the fact that Ziadin Sela’s AA opposed this attitude and claims that this law comes after the efforts of their leader.
It seems that the “big issues” of political parties are ready for early elections, while the rhetoric of undeniable “victories” already appears in public. Pre-election pressure is felt in the “air”, but “hangs” on the Euro-Atlantic integration agenda, which is plentiful and under pressure from deadlines. EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn stressed that it was time for reforms, not for early elections.
However, political life in Macedonia lies between two emergencies. One is determined by the parties’ “impatience” to measure the electoral force’s battlefield, while the other is the process of reform dictated by the international community. In the meantime, it has been announced that Prime Minister Zaev is on a winter holiday. We will probably wait for him to come back to cut off this pre-election political “tension” that meets all the conditions for holding both parliamentary and presidential elections!
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