Breaking through a new political tunnel to achieve goals

Beograd_240125_Željko Šajn 03
Source: Kosovo Online

Written for Kosovo Online by Zeljko Sajn

The inauguration of the new executive government in North Macedonia can be expected no later than Sunday, June 23. The discussion could start a day earlier, on Saturday, as the future prime minister, Hristijan Mickoski, will most likely send his cabinet proposal to the highest legislative body, which consists of 120 members, on Friday.

For the new executive government to be officially formed, at least 61 members need to vote in favor. Mickoski certainly expects many more votes, as VMRO-DPMNE, together with its two coalition partners – the association Znam and the Albanian coalition Vredi – holds a total of 78 members. Once the new government is constituted, the executive, legislative, and judicial powers in the Republic of North Macedonia will be consolidated with the new president, Gordana Siljanovska Davkova.

The new government will attempt to break through a new political tunnel to achieve the country's goals, including European integration. On this path, the country will face the inherited Bulgarian barrier, which the previous government failed to overcome, as well as a potential new blockade from the Greek neighbor if the Prespa Agreement is not respected.

It is worth recalling that President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, during her inauguration oath, without mentioning the name of the state Republic of North Macedonia, began new communication both internally and externally regarding the respect and implementation of the Prespa Agreement. At international gatherings, whether communicating with journalists or statesmen, she still does not use the constitutional name of the state. For instance, in Switzerland, at an international gathering of representatives from 100 countries discussing the cessation of the war in Ukraine, she used the phrase "my country." She attended this gathering after welcoming heads of states and governments at the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) and the meeting of foreign ministers within the Macedonian chairmanship of the Process under the motto "Bridging Divisions, Building Trust," where she did not cause a scandal like at the inauguration but expressed herself similarly to how she did in Switzerland. At both international gatherings, the experienced Davkova surprised everyone at the state, diplomatic, and political levels by adopting a solution that did not provoke the Greek neighbor, especially since Greek officials were present at both gatherings.

For further concrete steps in North Macedonia, we need to wait for the inauguration of the new government. It is quite certain that the mandate holder, Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE, will present to the members of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia the proposed composition of the executive government, which will include members from the opposition coalition at all levels. Thus, the new government will be led by Mickoski in a composition of Macedonian parties VMRO-DPMNE and the association Znam, as well as the Albanian coalition Vredi. This ruling coalition has 78 members out of the 120 in the Macedonian parliament.

Analyzing the division of power resulting from the parliamentary and presidential elections, the head of the state is Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, the executive power belongs to the leader of VMRO-DPMNE Hristijan Mickoski – thus, the Macedonians – while the president of the Assembly is an Albanian cadre – Afrim Gashi, who considers Kosovo his homeland, causing strong reactions among Macedonians. The future prime minister has asked him to apologize to the citizens if he made such a statement, as in conversations with him, Gashi stated that their country is common – Macedonia. This position of Mickoski indicates that he will lead a balanced policy internally. However, the legislative power is in the hands of the Albanians. This principle of division of power along national lines, where Macedonians and Albanians share state functions under the guise of maintaining peace in the region after the armed conflict of 2001, will likely continue for a long time in this country. Through the Ohrid Framework Agreement, Albanians won their right to participate in the government of North Macedonia, although these rights were already being exercised in the former Yugoslavia, especially in Kosovo and Metohija. We recall Sinan Hasani, Xhavid Nimani, Fadil Hoxha, Kolo Siroki, and others who held the highest provincial and state functions in the then country.

Through a coalition with the Albanian opposition, which is very close to Albin Kurti, Mickoski tried to mitigate the influence of the Albanians by giving them only six ministries, which is one-third of the new executive government, which will have 20 ministerial positions, while during the rule of DUI with SDSM, the Albanians had half of the ministerial seats.

All parties have revealed their ministerial candidates, who will have a very responsible task: to prepare the country for the long impassable path to Euro-integration, as so far, an unprincipled policy has been led towards North Macedonia by the EU, NATO, and the USA. Although the country changed its Constitution and name, it has not managed to become an EU member, as Bulgaria has conditioned it with another constitutional change to introduce the Bulgarian people into the highest state act of North Macedonia. This Bulgarian condition came very quickly after the signing of the Prespa Agreement on June 17, 2019. They were supported in this by the EU, especially Macron and Scholz. Both see an interest in ruling Europe but with the Balkans and without Russia.

Not only through brave moves but also by applying her professorial knowledge in constitutional law, President Siljanovska Davkova, along with Mickoski and the new executive government, will pave the way for their country and its people towards better prospects without selling the national identity and language, which the Macedonian people supported in the elections, giving confidence to President Siljanovska Davkova and the opposition structure VMRO-DPMNE. We remain to witness the success of their path to the European Union and whether they will have to face new constitutional changes and whether, in that case, they will secure EU guarantees that their Macedonian sun on the European path will no longer be overshadowed by any country.