The political crisis in Macedonia is fraught with immersion into chaos and the civil war – the opposition does not want to compromise with the ruling party and in a crisis could manifest destructive Albanian factor itself, which could lead to serious consequences, considers a well-known Russian expert, director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary Balkan Crisis Elena Guskova. 

 

Macedonia

 

Crisis

 

The Macedonian crisis began in 2015 when the leader of the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia Zoran Zaev announced about the availability of compromising recordings of country’s ruling elite telephone conversations. Zaev didn’t explain where he get those recordings, however after that the opposition charged that the Macedonian intelligence services were allegedly making recordings. The opposition confirms that the government bugged to a total of 20 thousand people – politicians, public figures and journalists. 

 

In May 2015, in Skopje have been mass rallies both in support of the current government, and against it. The protests were extinguished only after negotiations between authorities and opposition under the mediation of the European diplomats. The country has set up a special prosecutor’s office, which was to investigate not only the fact of illegal wiretapping but also the surfaced information about corruption. 

 

In response to those arrangements, Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski resigned on January 15. Early parliamentary elections were appointed on April 24, but the opposition announced their boycott – in the opinion of both the opposition and the EU and US missions, the country is not ready to hold fair elections. 

 

However, the unrest in Macedonia erupted with new force, when President George Ivanov announced an amnesty for 56 politicians passing through the different cases, including tapping – Ivanov explained this decision by the desire to establish political peace in the country. In turn, on April 12, the opposition again started mass rallies with a demand to cancel the amnesty, as well as the newly announced boycott of the parliamentary elections. 

 

The opposition wants to take power by force

 

“It seems that the opposition wants to take power by force, to overthrow everything that relates to the ruling party of Macedonia and come to power on a wave of revolutionary energy and they do not need democratic procedure for it. Zaev disclaims elections because he wants to come to power not through elections but through undemocratic way. Zaev is not confident in his electoral strength”, Guskova said in an interview.

 

Albanian factor

 

In this scenario, which Zaev is trying to promote now, the country is plunged into internal chaos and civil war. And if the Albanian factor will join – Macedonia is threatening serious consequences. Albanians would seek to further divide of the territory. 

 

According to Guskova, Albanian activists can play the role of driving force of the revolution, which prepares Zaev. 

 

The resource exists and it’s very large and very dangerous – it’s the Albanians. If to combine those two forces they would help Zaev to come to power. But they will put their own terms, and this is very dangerous because it threatens to split Macedonia. 

 

External factor

 

In addition, Zaev is supported by European and American diplomats, disgruntled with the former Prime Minister Gruevski, said Guskova. 

 

The scandal (with wiretapping) coincided with Gruevski’s refusal to break off relations with Russia, with the refusal of the official Skopje to oppose Russia – when the European Parliament was discussing all of those issues of sanctions and other things”, draws attention Guskova.

 

Macedonia did not support the European sanctions against Russia, and expressed willingness to participate in projects of the Russian gas pipeline.

 

According to Guskova, the events in Macedonia are developing according to the scenario of color revolutions, have repeatedly tried and tested in various regions, including the Balkans. 

 

 

 

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