Who will lead the "dance" in DPA?
It is ‘unclear’ why Sela and Thaci clashed. Charisma, group interests or power to dominate Albanian politics
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Zijadin Sela, politician from Struga and former close ally of Menduh Thaci, urged Thaci’s departure of party president.
According to Sela, the resignation should be given for poor performance that the party achieved in the last parliamentary and presidential elections. He noted that there are many disgruntled voices within DPA, but they are not articulated in public. “I have asked the congress to be convened after the heavy defeat. Thaci refuses to convene the congress. The cost of losing the election for Thaci may not be great, but for the Albanians and DPA voters it is very big”, said Sela.
Meanwhile Thaci said that the congress will discuss the party occasions and his responsibility as a leader. Commentators in the press think that a public debate has started about DPA internal party reform.
The effect of personal accusations
Moreover, DPA leader Menduh Thaci continued to talk about his party’s participation in the government rather than local accusations.
“I will not resign if DPA traitors request it”, replied Thaci after meeting the U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Paul Wohlers.
As a compromise option Sela proposed Thaci to be declared an honorary president of DPA, a post previously held by Arben Xhaferi.
“The time has come for him to leave honorably. I am sorry to say this, but to blame someone else for treason sounds like a dictatorial premise to me”, replied Sela.
After Sela’s statements, senior DPA officials reacted against him in social networks.
MP Orhan Ibrahimi on Facebook wrote that “Sela was thought to be gold, but he turned out to be tin”. Tensions in Struga branch influenced DPA to win no MP in the constituency 5, where Zia Jonuzi competed, a candidate whom Sela and the party branch opposed. Despite the inter-party squabbles, DPA leads parallel negotiations with Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE.
Attempting to debate and internal reform
Afrim Gashi, chief editor of the magazine “Shenja” for INBOX7 says that the smell of reforms in DPA is not felt. “We cannot talk about any kind of internal democracy when others are as traitors who split the party, thus accusing the same “traitors”, without seeking the culprits within the organization”.
Despite Gashi’s pessimism, journalist Faton Arifi, who closely follows developments in the DPA branch in Struga, for INBOX7 says that Sela will continue his political struggle within DPA, because he does not believe that he can become second Imer Selmani.
“It appears that Sela does not have a plan to form a new political party, because in that case the opponents will compare him with Imer Selmani and others who left DPA”, Arifi said. Sela will fight to the end to change the leadership of DPA and he cannot be expected to move to another political party, explains Arifi.
In this context Gashi thinks that if reformed, DPA will help a lot to the Albanian issue in Macedonia, although currently there is no such a process. “If they reform with new and professional staff with new leadership and vision, they can help a lot to their subject, and to all Albanians. But if they decide to continue with the old practice, they will have the same results”, concludes Gashi.
The congress in 2015
DPA leader Menduh Thaci has left the door open to debate the accountability of the central presidency of the party organs, but more believes that decisions about the functioning of the party will be adopted by the Congress.
DPA will have its regular congress in March 2015. Party congresses in Macedonia and the Albanian political bloc usually support the same leaders.
In DPA, after the parliamentary elections in 2002, when this party won only 7 MPs, the party was led by late Xhaferi and Thaci as vice president.
After the local parliamentary elections in 2004 and 2006, the duo Xhaferi- Thaci received support to continue leading the party. Following Xhaferi’s resignation, Thaci won great support from the members and party organs. In the last parliamentary elections, DPA received 66,393 votes or 5.92 per cent of the total electorate.
This figure is the same as that of the parliamentary elections in 2011, when DPA received 66,139 votes. However, compared to the local elections in 2013, DPA declined by 19,420 votes, as in the election of local leaders this party won 85,771 votes.
‘Removing’ Sela from the public political debate in the field of daily policy with a clearly defined agenda will dissolve better his disagreement with the DPA leader Menduh Thaci.
Forming a new government is seen as an opportunity for maneuvering on the Albanian political scene. It is unclear why these two politicians clashed. Charisma, group interests or power to dominate Albanian politics.
Editor: Selim Ibraimi