DUI continues to blow the ashes from the fire that was lit in Parliament in the eyes of Social Democrats, although, as DUI caucus coordinator, Ejup Alimi, claims that the two parties in the government coalition are in constant coordination regarding the solutions for the key directions of the country, including talks on a consensual presidential candidate.
VMRO-DPMNE says the accusations are unfounded – that the party holds DUI hostage with compromising materials from the time of their “famous criminal decade” of which we heard in the so-called “bombs”, and which contributes to them being in a confusing party position – neither in power nor in opposition.
In a statement for Nezavisen Vesnik/Independent Daily Newspaper, he continues to claim that SDSM is the party that is guilty of the parliamentary debacle of stripping the former Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski of his MP immunity. He denies the allegations that DUI was utterly disinterested during the two-day debate at the Commission for Rules of Procedure and Mandate-Immunity Issues, which at the start of the debate created the suspicion that some new political games were being played behind the scenes, which inflict another blow on the independent judiciary.
“It is not true that our member did not attend and did not participate in the debate. There is footage. I was in touch with the coordinator of the SDM group, Jovan Mitreski. He told me that there will not be a vote on Friday to comply with the two-day rule. After Agim Shaqiri felt sick, it was agreed to vote at 23 o’clock, and by that time our MP, Mersad Emini Hasani, to get to Parliament.
Bogoevski’s move to speed up the vote opens a whole different doubt – that they were the ones involved in the rescue mission of Veljanoski, not us,” Alimi says.
He is charged in one of the SPO cases – “Titanic 3”. This case of the SPO refers to the destruction of electoral material, and accused are Alimi and Ismet Guri, a member of the Municipal Election Commission in Cair. Alimi was at the center of attention for the moment because, as the SPO argued, his attorney threatened the special prosecutors. Prosecutor Gavril Bubevski filed criminal charges. Party leader Ali Ahmeti, meanwhile, is suspected in the “Census” investigation and Bujar Osmani in the “Patient” investigation. Hence, it is uncertain what form of law on the status of the SPO will DUI MPs support.
The SPO to be responsible for the investigations opened after the deadline of June 30, 2017 is provided for in the new law on the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Ministry of Justice, contrary to the principal legal opinion of the Supreme Court that has cut it after 18 months of deadline. The SPO is the instance that appears in some of the doubts about the revival of the old connection, as some like to call it – an immortal connection between VMRO-DPMNE and DUI.
“DUI is in close relationship only with the Albanian voters and listens to their needs. We are neither someone’s keyring, nor can we fall under some blackmail and threats as they are speculating in the public. We showed that when we entered the coalition with SDSM, although in the elections the party had two MPs less than VMRO-DPMNE. Our party program coincided with the Social Democrats’ program. And in the realization of the joint program we have had huge success so far,” says Alimi.
SDSM MP Muhamed Zeqiri publicly attacked Alimi that his party in an agreement with VMRO-DPMNE had saved Veljanoski, so that his immunity would not be stripped away tomorrow, reffering to the charges against DUI’s coordinator in a court case of the SPO.
“The witness who was charged with the same case in which I was convicted admitted that he had changed the minutes. In that moment, SPO instantly became anxious. That’s why the accusations of alleged threats to prosecutors from my lawyer followed. The court will ultimately say whether, why and who was actually putting pressure,” says Alimi, and after a short dramatic pause says that “what I am trying to say is that the country is behind in terms of judicial reform.”
“The slogan of the Colorful Revolution was: No justice, no peace. Which court system is used for governing in North Macedonia – with a new one, or with the old one? And what are the messages we receive in that direction from the international community?” – asks Alimi.
He does not want to comment on the announcement by his colleague Zekiri that the figures are made by the government, leaving the game and the option – government without DUI.
“I do not want to comment on such vague stories, nor a statement of a person who changes his mind in such a short period of time. Before the election, he said that there is no way that he would allow a coalition with DUI. Later he said that the government could not be formed without DUI, and after that we had adopted a number of laws, and we managed to make a change in the Constitution, thus opening up the country’s path to Euro-integration,” said Alimi.
He emphasizes that DUI and SDSM constantly communicate at different levels. “Negotiations and consensual candidate for president are still not closed. The attempts to throw dust into the public in order to compromise DUI’s reputation will not succeed. The organizing secretaries of both parties are constantly in touch, and there are also meetings at a higher level. There is great possibility that the talks could be successfully completed. Working groups between the two parties are also discussing the Census Law. Then we, as lawmakers, will debate whether this law is good or has flaws that need to be corrected,” says Alimi.
The coordinator of the SDSM caucus, Jovan Mitreski, claims that Alimi is a master of making up stories.
“My position and the position of my colleagues from our parliamentary group was, and will always be the same, and is very clear. We demand justice for April 27. We demand accountability from the organizers of violence! We will never hinder justice, whether it’s about MPs, because we, like all citizens, are equal before the law. This applies to all MPs, as well as for those of the majority if they violated any laws. I am for justice and responsibility for April 27, are you?” – Mitreski asked his colleague Alimi.