DUI presents Tirana platform in Parliament
Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Macedonian Parliament's debate on the Committee on Elections and Appointments erupted on Wednesday when DUI member of Parliament Ejup Halimi read the controversial Tirana platform. The SDS, which is trying to form a Government in coalition with three ethnic Albanian parties, insists that the Tirana platform will not be part of the Government program, but Halimi said that the document is the platform of all parties that represent ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, including the SDS.

VMRO-DPMNE responded that it is now clear that an SDS led Government would work to radically transform Macedonia, against the wishes of the majority of ethnic Macedonians who voted for VMRO-DPMNE and called for urgent dismissal of the Parliament and early general elections.

"In order to remove all doubt and not to stir inter-ethnic tensions, this is the program and the platform of the Albanian political parties. A solution to these problems will lead to democratization of the society", Halimi said, before reading the platform. The document calls for full bilingualism - meaning official use of the Albanian language across the entire country. A debate to change the flag, anthem and the coat of arms of Macedonia to reflect its multi-ethnic character. A resolution to condemn genocide performed over the Albanians between 1912 and 1956 - a period that covers the Balkan wars, the two world wars and the early period of Communist rule in Macedonia. The Tirana platform, called that because it was drafted under the mentorship of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, also calls for equal regional development with mechanisms that would guarantee levels of public spending in Albanian majority areas, as well as greater representation of ethnic Albanians in the police, military, intelligence and judicial services. The document also calls that Albanians are included in negotiating a solution to the name issue with Greece and unblocking the way toward NATO and European Union membership. It also calls for judicial reforms along the urgent reform priorities proposed by an EU expert team.

Ilija Dimovski from VMRO-DPMNE responded that this is finally proof that a Government based on a coalition between SDSM and DUI would work to implement this set of nationalist demands. Dimovski said that the citizens who voted for SDSM were not informed ahead of the elections that this type of radical changes will be implemented in the country. According to him, the only thing left to discuss in the Parliament right now is its immediate dismissal and the calling of new general and municipal elections.

"This was maybe the first half-step taken to leave the crisis. Let's sit down, figure out a guarantee that the Parliament would be dissolved today, and we can elect a Speaker whose only role would be to call for quick municipal and early general elections", Ilija Dimovski said.

In an earlier TV interview, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev said that the Government he would like to lead, with the votes of the three Albanian parties, would work under a program he presented, and not under the Tirana platform. Zaev said that the Government would not have enough votes in Parliament to adopt the elements of the platform anyway, counting on the fact that the largest party in Parliament, VMRO-DPMNE, would deny SDSM and its coalition partners a 2/3 majority.


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