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By Andi Bushati/ How much is Albin Kurti worth in Macedonia?

2024-02-27 15:26:00, Opinione CNA
By Andi Bushati/ How much is Albin Kurti worth in Macedonia?
Analyst Andi Bushati

The anti-Kurti coalition in the axis Tirana - Pristina - Tetovo has gathered again around a new fable, that the prime minister of Kosovo is trying to destabilize Macedonia. The accusations are that he is dividing the local Albanian parties, that he is trying to influence the rotation of power for the general elections on May 8, that he is trying to export to the region, the unresolved crisis of the clash with the internationals in his country.

The reason for this is the support that Vetëvendosja has given to the Albanian opposition in Macedonia and the participation of some of its members as candidates in the race after two months.

In fact, this time's elections in the neighboring country are very important. First, because the nationalist party in opposition, VMRO DPMNE, is far ahead in the polls. Secondly, because the coalition of a number of Albanian factors can break, after two decades, the hegemony of Ali Ahmeti's DUI. In this coalition, which until recently was assembled under the name European League for Change (LEN), there are former dissidents of Ali Ahmeti's party, such as Izet Mejhiti, other already confirmed forces such as Bilal Kasami's BESA and ministers who have left the government to join the opposition. Crowned as VLEN, after the inclusion in the lists of members of Vetëvendosje, this list tends to exceed the number of 15 deputies that marks the record of DUI.

Despite the fact that Albin Kurti publicly declares that his party is not formally registered in the Macedonian elections, his hand is felt strong in this opposition grouping. In August of this year, Kurti paid a grand visit to the municipality of Çair in Skopje, the stronghold of Izet Mejhit, and participated in a rally with very nationalist notes, where Autochthonus flags were waved, in Tetova and Bilal Kasami. He is said to have influenced the breakup of the Alliance for Albanians party and the transition of one of its factions to the opposition. He received all of them together in his office at the end of January, while one of his official advisors, with Macedonian citizenship, Bekim Çoku, will be a candidate for the deputy of this list.

This whole undertaking is accompanied by great concern. Accusations of arrogant paternalism have been added to Kosovo's internal politics, citing cases of interference in elections in Albania and in the Presheva Valley. Ramush Haradinaj labeled the move as the implementation of the Russo-Serbian agenda.

In Skopje, one of the DUI figures, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani alluded to a fragmentation of the Albanian spectrum, which is desired by external factors. The strange thing is that Serbian President Vu?i? was also worried, who declared that Kurti wants to lead North Macedonia as well, getting rid of Ali Ahmet.

In fact, many of the criticisms converge on this very point: that a movement inspired by Prishtina is trying to break the 20-year monopoly of Ahmeti, who is strongly supported by Tirana and has served as a pawn in the ill-fated Open Balkans adventure. Those who are against strengthening an anti-DUI opposition have their arguments. According to the logic trumpeted by the Albanians, they should be united around the party that came out of the war, since never before have they achieved so many rights in Macedonia. The new constitution, the use of the Albanian language, the establishment of universities, control over important ministries, were unimaginable in the last century. Likewise, symbolic effects such as having a prime minister, be it a technical one, or a Skanderbeg monument in Skopje, have their undeniable meaning.

In this sense, the achievements of DUI's time, in governance, are undeniable, but on the other hand, they have accompanied rampant corruption, rampant clientelism in employment, to the point that even some institutions run by the Albanians have not really been at their service. Therefore an alternative to this hegemony could be welcome. Even the history of the rights of the Albanians in the neighboring country has shown exactly this. When the PDSH of Arbë Xhafer and Menduh Thaçi broke the monopoly of Democratic Prosperity, they advanced. They went even further when DUI, emerging from the war, competed and defeated PDSH. A new, strong and fair competition against the atrophied party of Ali Ahmet would only benefit the Albanians. It is precisely in this direction that Albin Kurti has invested, putting into play the popularity he enjoys in the border state between Kosovo and Albania.

Of course, no politician of his type, determined in goals and ambitious in objectives, makes unidirectional movements. And this means that a part of those intentions, for which they are accusing him today in Skopje, Pristina or Tirana, can turn in his mind. But regardless of that, if the coalition he is supporting produces a more plural scene of Albanian parties in Macedonia and the creation of an alternative to the 20-year hegemony, he does better for the interests of our compatriots. In this case, yes, Kurt's bet is really WORTH IT.

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