The pardoned minister

Goran Adamovski

Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani defends his party colleague Hisen Xhemaili, so he leisurely concludes that he has not been convicted in the 2001 “Mavrovo workers” case. He added that according to the information he had, the newly appointed minister had taken part in a brutal torture on five construction workers abducted in Zhelino in August 2001. If so, there were no formal legal obstacles for Xhemaili to become part of the government team on Ilinden Street.

Who knows if we would ever find out what was the role the former NLA commander in this case, if the trial he was accused of was not halted by the amnesty law passed by the then-government chiefs: Nikola Gruevski and Ali Ahmeti. Years later, Ali Ahmeti is still the leading man in the government, now in the company of Zoran Zaev, so he can nominate and appoint ministers and officials. And have it all accepted, because nobody can say no to him.

When you look at the biography of the 43-year-old Xhemaili, the first thing you will notice is that there were, and there still are, ministers with less qualifications than the history graduate and former MP, and president of the Tetovo Council. The portfolio devised by Ahmeti and Zaev – improving the investment climate for domestic enterprises is perfect for experienced and well-deserved party cadres. Hardly anyone has expectations that things will really move forward, thanks to the energy and hard work the new minister will bring, especially in the very short time he has before the upcoming elections.

However, 18 years after the military crisis, the least we need to do right now is scratch open unhealed scars again. Therefore, the party in Mala Rechica needed to show more responsibility, and not show muscle and act untouchable. As they always do.

The “Mavrovo workers” case is one of four that the court in The Hague sent back to Macedonia for the trial to take place in the country. Our policy then and now prevails over justice, and the Law on Amnesty was adopted, which was applicable to all perpetrators of conflict-related crimes up to September 26, 2001. This case, as well as “Lipkovo Dam”, “Neproshteno” and “NLA Leadership” were immediately stopped in court because the judges accepted the prosecutor’s request for authentic interpretation of Article 1 of the Amnesty Law. This does not mean, however, that public suspicion remains that the NLA leaders and their members have not always complied with military rules.

Probably the real question is what does Ahmeti want to accomplish with such stunts? Not long ago, another NLA commander, Sadullah Duraku, transferred from one ministry to another, although he was one of the most invisible members of the government. Let’s not forget Hazbi Lika, who didn’t even show up to work and was a minister.
The close relations, the debts of the past, and probably the strong integrity of certain people within the party must not be the only ticket to the government building, as they now have to work for the benefit of all citizens, not just for their own or for their own interests and the interests of their party. Ahmeti knows he is in a comfortable position because without him no one can be removed from power or come to power. And that will mean that he plans to do so in the future. In the end, though, he will have to report to his voters. The elections are just about to knock on our doors. After that, it will be clear whether and how much the worth of the party in Mala Rechica will go up.