In an exclusive interview for IBNA, the head of “Besa” Movement, Bilall Kasami talks about the recent events in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, after the introduction of ethnic and religious symbols which are causing cross ethnic and religious hate ahead of the upcoming elections of 5 June 2016 and other developments.
“I believe that Macedonia cannot afford the luxury of status quo. It must recover from this “flu” at once and get back to the agenda of NATO integration, because otherwise, things don’t look very good for her”, Kasami notes.
Interviewed by Naser Pajaziti
IBNA: How do you consider the current political situation, which is being accompanied with many political uncertainties?
What Macedonia is today, we all know this. A country in which the judiciary system has fallen and for which a Special Prosecution had to be established. Then there’s the fall of the security system, which was seen with the wiretapping affair and above all, this country doesn’t have democracy. As we all know, power has been gained through the manipulation of the will of voters and here we can no longer speak of a democracy. In front of this situation, I seriously fear that these irresponsible and non serious politicians have destroyed hope that things can get better in this country. Their main concern is how to save their skin from possible indictments by the Special Prosecution. In these circumstances, they are ready to do almost anything. I fear that by attempting to save themselves, they will not spare the people, as they did with the scenario in Kumanovo. This is why we call on Albanians, such as the ones that we saw on Saturday in Skopje, where majority politicians orchestrate a protest against the government, which means against themselves, in order to provoke incidents and redeem themselves from the crimes that they have carried out during this time.
IBNA: The elections were postponed again and 5 June is the date that was decided to hold them. Do you think that the necessary conditions will be fulfilled until this date?
I think that Macedonia has become like a theater where every actor wants to cheat the other. We have said it many times that what’s important to us is the not the election date, but whether the criteria has been met. Although I highly doubt that conditions will be met until 5 June, we will only participate in those elections that will be guaranteed by the international community in terms of being free and fair elections. Otherwise, we don’t believe any other factor in Macedonia. Even less or at all parties in power, which have shown during all this time that they have attempted to hold elections under unfavorable conditions, in order for them to snatch another term in office. Based on this, we are expecting to hear the declaration of the international community as to whether the conditions have been met and then decide if we will participate.
IBNA: What is your stance on these elections?
Although we have our reservations on the elections, we are expecting them to refresh the political arena in Macedonia. I’m convinced that the citizens of Macedonia will not see these elections as elections to cause a rotation in power, but also as a referendum to change values. In these elections they will vote as to whether they are in favor of honest politicians or politicians who are involved in affairs, such as that of “Magyar Telecom”?; are we in favor of politicians who orchestrate scenarios like the one in Kumanovo or politicians that sell the peace of the country for nothing?; are in favor of politicians that organize Brodec, Sopot or Monstra or politicians who want to rebuild the system of justice? This is why I think that these elections are a very good opportunity for this political class to leave and to establish new standards of policy making in Macedonia. Based on this, I am certain that an ordinary, honest and responsible Albanian has been fed by these politicians and is expecting a change. And this time, nobody has the right to complain that there is no other option. Voters must now choose between dark and light, theft and honesty, illiteracy and knowledge.
IBNA: What is the most accepted formula to take the country out of this deep and economic political crisis?
We have offered the formula of the solution of this crisis, but it has only been taken into account partially. In our platform called REDEFINITION, proposed since March 2015, we have redefined the entire system of the state consolidation, because we believe that in the current situation, this state will constantly produce crises. This country must be defined: who are the bearers of the sovereignty, what does the name of the state express, what must state symbol express, what are the official languages here, how are the decisions taken by the government, how are decisions taken in parliament, how is the budget divided, what is the role of minority communities in the security and justice system, how are the means divided for an equal regional development, etc. Besides this, we had also demanded the Special Prosecution, which has now been created, but we had said that that was not sufficient, because a Special Tribunal was also needed and now I’m sure that everyone is convinced how important this request has been.
We had also demanded reforms in the media, which unfortunately, are not taking place even today. We don’t want to say that ours was a prophecy, but fortunately for us and unfortunately for the people, everyone is now convinced that what we had demanded were prerequisite for the crisis to be overcome.
IBNA: In case we have such delays and status quo, what can Macedonia expect?
I believe that Macedonia cannot afford the luxury of status quo. It must recover from this “flu” at once and get back to the agenda of NATO integration, because otherwise, things don’t look very good for her. The refugee crisis, the expansion of the Serb-Russian influence and the growth of extremism are some of the signs that indicate the fact that outside of NATO and EU, Macedonia is in front of a serious threat. For this reason, we are not allowed even a minute of negligence, because everything may go to waste.
In this aspect, Albanians must be very attentive. Albanian political parties must not mock with empty promises such as “we will become NATO members in six months”, because these are serious topics which cannot bear such a lack of seriousness.
Albanians must declare themselves openly that if Macedonians do not want NATO and the EU, then the ways may be divided here. They must not only say this to satisfy westerners, but they must insist without any compromise. /ibna/