Albanians in Macedonia form new political party

Opposition leader forms new political party following court decision not to give leadership of the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA)

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Zijadin Sela has registered a new opposition party called the Movement for Reforms - Democratic Party of Albanians on Sunday, soon after a Macedonian court declined to give him the presidency of the DPA, the Balkan Insight reported.

The Balkan Insight also reported that Sela said that he wants his new party to be the voice of the Albanians who make up a quarter of Macedonia’s 2.1 million population.

“The new party has some 14,000 members which is much more than any other Albanian party in the country,” said Sela, adding that he predicts that around 80 percent of DPA’s members will join his new party.

However, according to the Balkan Insight, the Democratic Party of Albanians has denied Sela’s comments regarding its members.  

The court that rejected Sela’s claim of being the rightful leader of the DPA decided that Menduh Thaci is the legal president of the party.

Sela had previously accused Thaci of pretending to be in opposition to the ruling party, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - Democratic Party for Macedonia National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE).

He says that Thaci was in fact maintaining strong ties with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s government instead.

The formation of the party comes following the onset of a political crisis in Macedonia.

Since January, the country has been struck by unrest after the illegal release of phone records of high ranking government officials by the opposition party Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) leader Zoran Zaev.

Gruevski and senior government officials denied the allegations claiming that the recordings were completely fabricated and manipulated. He also claimed Zaev is preparing a coup against the current government.  

Ever since accusations have surfaced, Gruevski and his government have been the target of protests, generally led by opposition leader Zaev.

TRTWorld and agencies