Macedonia Current Politics

In north-west Macedonia, according to Educationvv, in the border area with Kosovo and (southern) Serbia, armed actions by extremist Albanian militants (so-called National Liberation Army, UÇK) provoked from spring 2000) with the aim of an ethnic federalization of Macedonia, i.e. the division of Macedonia into a confederation, an impending new case of conflict for the entire Balkan region. After the escalation from January 2001, there were heavy fighting with the army from mid-March 2001 as well as containment measures by NATO (KFOR agreement with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to control the deployment and retreat areas of the Albanian rebels in both countries); then an offensive by the Macedonian army and security police around Tetovo, the center of the UÇK, and around Kumanovo. The EU and the international community pushed for the solution of ethnic problems through political dialogue. The government was stopped, with an improved integration of the Albanian minority into the Macedonian state (i.a. Strengthening their basic rights and their local administration [autonomy], recognition of Albanian as an official language, integration of the University of Tetovo into the Macedonian education system) to defuse the potential for conflict. Despite the establishment of an all-party government in mid-May 2001 and an armistice on July 5, 2001 – under EU mediation – there were repeated heavy fighting between the army and the UÇK until August 2001. a. around Tetovo and in North Macedonia.

For a long time, the government was unable to counter the growing tensions between the two sections of the population caused by the expansion of the KLA. Negotiations on a peace plan by the president Trajkovski failed in June because of the lack of approval from the Albanian parties. After tough negotiations between representatives of the four largest parties of the Slavic and Albanian Macedonians in Ohrid, a peace treaty was signed in Skopje on August 13 with international mediation; the most important points were a police reform and an official status of the Albanian language in areas with at least 20% of the population. NATO troops accompanied the agreed voluntary disarmament of the KLA until its official end on September 26th (“Essential Harvest” mission, a total of 3,500 NATO forces, “Task Force Harvest”, with German participation). Despite the declaration of the self-dissolution of the KLA (September 27th), the peace process initially stagnated for weeks. An agreement on the constitutional amendment demanded by NATO and the EU was not reached until November 16. The restoration of state control over the 60 villages formerly under UÇK influence began in November 2001 with the support of and in close cooperation with the OSCE, EU and NATO (“Amber Fox” mission; first NATO military operation under sole German leadership). On November 21, 2001, the SDSM left the government of national unity. To mediate the internal Albanian dispute and to enforce the Ohrid / Skopje Agreement, a non-partisan »coordination council« was formed, which was dominated by the former UÇK. At the end of May 2002, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI or BDI) was founded as the new Albanian party; the former UÇK boss became the first president At the end of May 2002, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI or BDI) was founded as the new Albanian party; the former UÇK boss became the first president At the end of May 2002, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI or BDI) was founded as the new Albanian party; the former UÇK boss became the first president Ali Ahmeti (* 1959).

After the parliamentary elections on September 18, 2002, the opposition alliance »Together for Macedonia«, the v. a. was supported by the SDSM, the absolute majority barely; On November 1, 2002, B. Crvenkovski became Prime Minister of a coalition government made up of SDSM and DUI. It made the political stabilization and pacification of the country the top priority, based on the Ohrid Agreement and the constitutional revision of 2001. President Trajkovski, who tried to find a balance, was killed in a plane crash in February 2004 near Mostar. In the subsequent presidential elections on April 28, 2004, the previous Prime Minister Crvenkovski was victorious in the runoff. In the parliamentary elections in July 2006, the IMRO-led alliance »For a Better Macedonia« emerged victorious, chaired by N. Gruevski became Prime Minister of a coalition government v. a. from IMRO and PDSH. The PDSH left the coalition in March 2008 in the dispute over the recognition of the independence of Kosovo and more rights for the Albanians. In the early parliamentary elections on June 1, 2008, IMRO was again the strongest force in parliament. However, there had already been numerous violent incidents within the Albanian minority during the election campaign. According to election observers, the election itself was also accompanied by irregularities. The election was repeated on June 15, 2008 in the Albanian-dominated areas in the north and west of the country. In July 2008 the IMRO formed a coalition with the DUI. In the runoff election for president on June 5, 2009, IMRO-supported candidate G. Ivanov push through. His predecessor B. Crvenkovski did not stand for re-election. The global economic and financial crisis also impaired economic development in Macedonia in 2009/10.

In the early elections on June 5, 2011, the governing parties suffered losses, but were able to maintain their majority in parliament. Gruevski remained head of government. Overall, OSCE observers rated the polls as transparent and well conducted. Tensions between the Macedonian and Albanian peoples continued to weigh on domestic politics. On October 5, 2012, the opposition failed with a vote of no confidence in the government. The opposition had accused the government of increasing tensions between the population groups through its policies. The question of how to deal with the ailing economy led to tangible disputes in parliament in December 2012. At a meeting on the state budget, opposition MPs harassed the Speaker of Parliament and had to be removed by security forces. There were also clashes outside Parliament. The Social Democrats refused to participate in the parliament and threatened to boycott local elections. They moved away from both positions in March 2013 following mediation efforts by the EU.

Macedonia Current Politics

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