Zambak.ba - Albanian parties in Macedonia issued a joint declaration demanding constitutional changes for broader rights, larger representation in government institutions and recognition of Albanian language as the second official language.
Representatives of three Albanian political parties in Macedonia, namely; the Democratic union for Integration, Coalition 'Revival with Besa', the Alliance for the Albanians, and the Democratic Party of Albanians have also called for a debate on country's national hymn and coat of arms as "the symbols of the state should reflect multi-ethnical structure of the country".
#Kosovo welcomes agreement b/w Albanian political parties in Macedonia. This is a new chapter for Albanians rights in Macedonia's path to EU? Enver Hoxhaj (@Enver_Hoxhaj) 7 Ocak 2017
Three Albanian parties gained 18 mandates out of 120 seats in Macedonia's parliament in the early elections on December 11, 2016 where Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE gained 51 seats and Zoran Zaev's SDSM gained 49.
Both VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM have declared that they will seek an agreement with the ethnic Albanian parties to form the coalition government.
The objectives of Albanian parties, as it is published by the official website of the the Democratic union for Integration (DUI), are as follows;
1. Achievement of full equality, in compliance with the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the Constitution
? Strict implementation of the principle of multi-ethnicity in the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, where the Albanians shall be recognized a nation-building population. Support for any legislation of constitutional initiative that strengthens ethnic equality for the Albanian population.
? Achievement of full linguistic equality, use of the Albanian language at all levels of governance and guaranteeing its use as a basic and constitutional right. The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia shall determine that "the Macedonian language and its Cyrillic script and the Albanian language and its script are official languages in the Republic of Macedonia."
? All-inclusive debate on the flag, anthem, and state coat-of-arms of the Republic of Macedonia, so that state symbols reflect societal multi-ethnicity and ethnic equality.
? Adoption of a Resolution in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia with which to condemn the genocide on the Albanian people in Macedonia during 1912-1952.
2. Achievement of economic equality and societal wellbeing, especially through the equitable regional development
? Establishment of a new mechanism, in the form of a State Committee on Financing of Municipalities, for a more just decision-making with regard to government grants for municipalities' benefit.
? Creation of a Ministry for Political System and Relations among Communities, as a body responsible for the respect for the rights of the communities and to incentivize economic and societal development in disfavored areas.
? Realization of equitable representation in the security bodies, the military, intelligence [agencies], and the judiciary.
? Realization of equitable representation at all levels of central governance, as well as public agencies, or public shareholder enterprises.
3. Strengthening of the Rule of Law, as a prerequisite for the advancement of the Euro-Atlantic integration process
? Implementation of the Reform Plan, in accordance with the Skopje Agreement [Przino], the Priebe Recommendations, the Urgent Reform Priorities of the European Commission, as well as the recommendations from the High-Level Accession Dialogue with the EU.
? Support for the impartial work of the Special Prosecution [Office], without ethnic or political prejudice.
? Shedding full light on the issues and court cases of "Sopot," "Brodec," "Monster," and "Kumanovo," though an investigative committee, or an independent international body.
4. Creation of a spirit of trust in the function of good interethnic relations, as a crucial element to the political stability of the country
? Affirmative measures to ensure the financing of Albanian cultural institutions at the local and national level.
? Creation of a central institution for the advancement of the languages of the communities, which shall ensure the training of translators, editors and lectors.
5. Resolution of the name issue, in conformity with European values and the principles of international law
? Adoption of a joint Binding Resolution in the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia which shall oblige the Government of Macedonia to commit to actively work toward a solution to the name dispute.
? Inclusion of Albanians in the working group for direct negotiations with Greece.
6. Good Relations With the Neighbors
? Inclusion of Albanians in the working group for direct negotiations with Bulgaria.
? Cooperation with Kosovo and Albania for the integrated border management.
? Opening of new border crossings.
7. Quick integration in NATO and the EU
? Accomplishing the above points shall unblock Macedonia's path toward full integration in NATO and open negotiations for membership in the European union.