All-Albanian Coalition Idea Rejected in Macedonia

The main ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia have expressly rejected the idea of forming an all-Albanian coalition to stand in opposition to the ruling party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

The proposal came from the leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA, Menduh Thaci. In an interview with the Albanian Top Channel on Wednesday he said that the DPA is ready to form an all-Albanian block if Gruevski’s Albanian coalition partner, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, ends its support for the ruling party.

Tahir Hani, a legislator from the DUI, also referred to the unsuccessful attempt to form an all-Albanian block in 2002, a move which Thaci opposed at the time.

“In 2002 Menduh Thaci and the DPA had the opportunity to make their contribution to this idea but instead they destroyed it,” Hani told reporters.

The members of New Democracy, ND, another ethnic Albanian opposition party, found the idea worthy of consideration but felt that it came from the wrong person.

“It would be very good if that idea came from someone who is smart and serious,” ND legislator Abedin Zimberi told press. “We are not ready to team up with a man who sometimes calls for war and sometimes urges for politics, depending on his mood.”

Thaci argued that Gruevski’s centre-right government has made a practice of discriminating against ethnic Albanians, which make up a quarter of the country’s population, by waging an ethno-centrist policy that pleases only the Macedonian majority.

He said that the roots of Macedonian nationalism lie in the “name” row with Greece, adding that the Albanians are the ones who feel the consequences of the dispute.

The European Union and United States ambassadors to the country, Erwan Fouere and Phillip Reeker, respectively, recently slammed Thaci for his statement that Macedonia could soon experience war if the oppression of the ethnic Albanian minority continued.

They called his statement “irresponsible” for a politician of his profile.

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