It is not the first time for Hristijan Mickoski and Zijadin Sela’s parties to coalition locally, but their latest collaboration that resulted in Gostivar’s dominance over SDSM and DUI has prompted rumors of a possible joint formation of a VMRO-DPMNE – Alliance for Albanians government if they win a winning number of votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The two opposition parties have so far refused to come forward with statements, so they shyly open the door to a possible coalition after next year’s elections. However, they say the key lies in the future recognition of common points in their programs, and the wounds of the past would also have to be healed, especially since the April 27 incursion in Parliament that resulted in an assassination attempt on Zijadin Sela.
“It is very normal for the opposition parties to cooperate, primarily at the local level, because it is in their interest to bring down the government”, the Alliance humbly answered when asked to comment on the Gostivar coalition.
“We have not discussed it with our VMRO-DPMNE colleagues at the central or any other higher level. This does not mean that we will not negotiate in the future, especially if they are winners in the Macedonian bloc, and we in the Albanian one. But most importantly, if we agree with our programs. Citizens give us legitimacy through their votes”, said a senior Alliance source.
He points out that their main goal is to defeat the ruling DUI, that is, keep the party’s other eye on what is happening at the Macedonian political campus.
“It is important to agree with the possible partner on the readiness to implement the program, the rule of law, European integration, equality between citizens, compliance with the Law on the Use of Languages, and even the Prespa Agreement. We have nothing against cooperation with VMRO-DPMNE, but still, we expect the new leadership to apologize for the events of April 27, or distance themselves if we agree that they had nothing to do with the intrusion in Parliament”, our interlocutor from Sela’s party pointed out.
VMRO-DPMNE emphasizes that the party remains open to cooperation with any of the Albanian political parties, stressing that its representatives have regular contact with them. Party President Mickoski announced that if the election results left room for a change of government, the coalition would prefer the principle: “program with program” rather than “winner with winner”, which was set up in 2008 due to DUI’s insisting, which was ignored after the last parliamentary elections in 2016.
“Either we have a joint program and we implement that program, or we will have virtually no benefit for our voters if the one winner with the other winner cannot reach an agreement on program principles. Then promises won’t be possible to fulfill”, said Mickoski.
He said that no matter what the name of the party is – Alliance for Albanians, DUI, Besa, DPA … the coalition program should be formed through negotiations, and if there is no agreement , then his party would look for another partner. Mickoski, however, expressed confidence that VMRO-DPMNE would win at least 61 seats in the next, as he said, early parliamentary elections.
When it comes to the violent events in the Parliament, the opposition VMRO-DPMNE’s stance is that the accused received extremely high prison sentences from Judge Dobrila Kacarska solely on the basis of one of the defendants’ statement that has been changed three times. According to the main opposition party, there was no other evidence against the convicts.
The Alliance for Albanians and VMRO-DPMNE also cooperated in the Debar Council, where at one point they even managed to get the presidential position last spring. But the “love” among them ended shortly after the local elections in Debar, that is, the presidential elections. Sela’s party members complained that their candidate did not receive support from VMRO-DPMNE, pointing out that in certain places where Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova won, DUI’s candidate also won. VMRO-DPMNE, on the other hand, complained that the votes for candidate Blerim Reka in the first round of presidential elections not only failed to end up on Siljanovska-Davkova account, but went to Stevo Pendarovski instead.
Meanwhile, Mickoski met with Bilal Kasami, the leader of the Albanian party Besa. The first results of that meeting were registered with the The Parliament Committee on Elections and Appointment Issues, where VMRO-DPMNE virtually secured a parliamentary majority with a vote from one Besa MP. It is still uncertain whether Besa and the Alliance for Albanians would form a coalition in the upcoming elections, just as they worked together during the presidential confrontation when they jointly supported Blerim Reka.