Hristijan Mickoski, the new president of VMRO-DPMNE, has a plan to realize the dream of his predecessor, Nikola Gruevski. If he firmly sticks to his plan, he would probably end up with a knife in his back as well.
When Gruevski held his first speech in Trnovo as an elected mandator in 2006, it was as if Martin Luther King had addressed all citizens that he had a dream to see Macedonia out of the economic crisis, poverty and misery, with a higher standard for the population and as a member of NATO and the European Union. After 12 years, on his departure from politics, Gruevski did not have the courage to admit that he had not realized his dream, yet there was the justification that when he came to power he had only one knife stabbed in his back, and when he was disappointed and leaving, he had many knives stabbed in his back, and that from his close associates. His successor Hristijan Mickoski has no dream, but he has a plan. He did not go to Trnovo to share his dreams, but stated in Valandovo that he will realize Gruevski’s dream and will defeat the unpopular government, secure better life for all citizens, will bring back freedom and democracy, and will integrate Macedonia into NATO and the European Union. Well, that’s nice, it’s a good plan, as long as Gruevski didn’t lie to him about his dream.
Here is a little more educational history for those who come and go, or for those who have a brief memory. The first Prime Minister of independent Macedonia, Nikola Kljusev, was plebiscitary elected with acclamation in the Parliament. After less than two years, he left shocked because he was the only one who didn’t know that the parties had agreed to replace him in the same way as they elected him. Later, after he came to his senses, he explained that he thought that he played bridge with the “big players”, while it didn’t occur to him that they actually played poker all along. They hid the trump cards from him, and in the end he felt deceived, with a knife stabbed in his back by his closest friends. Before him, the winner of the election Ljubco Georgievski, who was supposed to form the first Macedonian government and be the first Prime Minister elected in the election, failed because he could not form a majority group in the Parliament. It did not occur to him to create a coalition with an Albanian party because of the pre-election anti-Albanian atmosphere he produced. The coalition with the Albanian party would have been understood as a great betrayal of the national cause. Later Georgievski admitted that this was his biggest error and cause for not becoming the first Prime Minister of independent Macedonia.
Аfter Nikola Kljusev’s mistrust, VMRO-DPMNE and Georgievski did not form a government. Petar Gosev was also given the chance to be the first Macedonian Prime Minister, not to the expert, but to the political government, which suited him due to his activity in achieving the independence of Macedonia. When he began consultations on the formation of the multi-party government, he faced serious restrictions in electing his own team and ministers, and there was a lot of interference of the remaining parties in the government.
The formation of agreeing coalition governments was still foreign in the fragile democracy of Macedonia. Gosev clashed with these difficulties and pressures, and declined the historical offer with the words “that it was not for one use”. When he left the party, and later on left politics as well, he also felt that the enemies came from his circle of friends, in other words – was also stabbed in the back. Branko Crvenkovski accepted what Petar Gosev did not. Crvenkovski accepted seemingly “for one time of use”, but stayed on top for a whole decade, many times as a Prime Minister, as well as the President of the country. He never publicly said if he felt like he was stabbed in the back by his associates, however, judging by his complete distancing from politics and his party, and his silence, I wouldn’t be surprised if he felt as if he was stabbed in the back.
Ljubco Georgievski put a lot of pressure on the VMRO-DPMNE’s top for Nikola Gruevski to be his successor, ignoring many disagreements in the party. After he succeeded in his intentions, he was elected as a lifetime honorary president. He was anathematized very soon, as if he was the party’s greatest evil, and he was taken away not only from the honorary presidency, but from the undeniable historical fact that he was the founder of VMRO-DPMNE. Georgievski did not say how many knives he had in his back, but he became one of the harshest critics of Nikola Gruevski and his fake dreams.
Today, Nikola Gruevski is the honorary president with even more knives in his back. What do you think, will history repeat itself, and the university professor Hristijan Mickoski will become the leader by revealing those fake dreams and free VMRO-DPMNE from the myths and historical layers of the eternal search for traitors, spies and enemies, and will work according the European standards of consensual solutions the integrating process of Macedonia into the European Union? Or will this be another great farce because the transformation VMRO-DPMNE into a modern democratic European party is impossible. The party was kept alive through those myths, the stealing, the bribery and through fear.
What is it that all Macedonian politicians that are leaving politics or office have the feeling that they have a knife in their back? It is not just a question of deep rooting in the Balkan politicians' awareness of the betrayal and the beliefs of the great powers, but it is about not recognizing the time when it is enough and time to go, which is one of the most important things in politics. Macedonian politicians, except for rare exceptions, do not leave when they are at the top, but when they are overthrown.