ACADEMIC CHARISMA IN THE “CLAWS” OF POLITICS
By Bardhyl ZAIMI
Presidential candidates have slowly started to show “fragments” of the concept of their platform. These are the first moments of their presentation to the public, that is, to the electorate. The candidate who received the support of the opposition party, VMRO-DPMNE, Gordana Sijanovska-Davkova, at her first appearances suggested that her concept in these presidential elections would be in line with the concept of the largest Macedonian opposition party, which implies opposition to the Prespa Agreement on the change of the name of Macedonia. Siljanovska is a constitutional law professor, and her explorations on this issue, which are likely to be the biggest opposition in this election, are justified by the formation of a commission, until she becomes president.
In a public statement, Siljanovska said she would be the president of all citizens, while the name issue was unacceptable in terms of international law. “I did not think of abolishing the Prespa Agreement, this is a matter of the Constitutional Court. The new name from the aspect of law is not acceptable to me, and if I win, I will set up a commission to deal with this and point out the legal inconsistencies under international law”, she said.
Meanwhile, the two other candidates in this presidential race, Blerim Reka and Stevo Pendarovski, had their first public appearances. Blerim Reka entered the presidential election as an independent candidate supported by opposition parties in the Albanian political bloc, the Alliance for Albanians and the Besa Movement. Stevo Pendarovski is a consensual candidate who received approval from the coalition partners SDSM and DUI, as well as other parties.
It is now understandable that every vote in these elections remains important while the development of this campaign has calm tones of conceptual warnings, which are expected to be explained more widely during the election campaign. Although officially there is still time to start the election campaign, candidates for the post of president did not hesitate to give warnings, through which their conceptual orientation becomes visible to this campaign.
The vote of the Albanian electorate is considered decisive especially in the second round of elections. It seems that Stevo Pendarovski, the consensual candidate of the coalition parties, is a “trump” to get more votes from the Albanian electorate, while the candidacy of Blerim Reka is considered a novelty and quality in this campaign supported by opposition parties in the Albanian political bloc. First conceptual “attacks” among the candidates have already appeared. While Pendarovski emphasized the idea of a society for all as a comprehensive concept promoted by the SDSM, Reka said that it remained necessary for the country to be for everyone, explaining that the concept of a society for all does not imply equality at the state level. Pendarovski stressed that it was very important for him “Albanians to vote”, while for the second round he also asked for support from the Albanian opposition. Blerim Reka, on the other hand, noted that he expected to receive votes from the Macedonian electorate, too.
Siljanovska was moderate in her first public statements about the Albanian electorate. “I was born in Ohrid, in a Turkish house, and my brother has had an Albanian godfather since I was 10. Can someone grow up in such an environment and be a nationalist”, Siljanovska-Davkova said.
The three presidential candidates come from a university world with a pronounced intellectual background. They are very familiar with the state theories and everything that politics represents as a space for affirmation and cultivation of democratic pluralistic sensitivity. It seems that in this campaign there will be two battles for each candidate. One battle will be political confrontation with one another, while the next battle will be confrontation between intellectual charisma and political party engagements.
In some form the candidates have already expressed their personality independence in relation to the parties that support them. The goal is to overcome party options and to show that their intellectual integrity remains resolute in displaying “presidential goals”. And, apparently, this academic horizon seems probable from their intellectual background. They seem to have the knowledge and maturity to reveal their authentic vision of the position they are competing for. All three candidates have the necessary experience and knowledge to compete politically in accordance with the authority of the President of the country with the Constitution.
Undoubtedly, this constitutional position of the post of the president is not a frozen, static and technical position. During the campaign this position can be expanded with novelties and a new political vision that is always in line with the space provided by a country with the parliamentary system. In no case can public function be drafted only in constitutional and legal determinations. The function is also determined by constant political reflections that are in line with democratic values, plural political realities and different cultural realities that come as expected Euro-Atlantic integration.
However, the goal of highlighting the academic dimension that every candidate has will suffer gaps during the campaign from the implications, namely from party causes that usually overshadow these potential debates on inclusive values. In the past period it turned out that the “claws” of politics are ruthless. In these elections, as never before, it seems that we will have a struggle between the resistance of academic integrity and the conquest and absorption of charisma by the political parties. We are still at the pre-election campaign stage and it is too early to assess whether the party’s intellectual integrity will rule, or infertile party clashes that make the academic substance among the candidates invisible.
The party synchronization model again raises the battles that have already been experienced by all citizens, the battles for party causes, which are repeated as chorus in each election season. Let’s hope that these elections will bring a new quality of debate, especially when we consider that candidates enter this race each with their academic charisma.
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