Against The West And Against The New President In Macedonia

President Boris Trajkovski is facing an uphill struggle in his efforts to win over the Macedonian media, who have turned against him and his election win, suspecting a 'Albanian plot' cooked up with the help of the international community.

Against The West And Against The New President In Macedonia

President Boris Trajkovski is facing an uphill struggle in his efforts to win over the Macedonian media, who have turned against him and his election win, suspecting a 'Albanian plot' cooked up with the help of the international community.

Thursday, 10 November, 2005

New president Boris Trajkovski has yet to find favour with the Macedonian media - much of which believes the international community effectively "conspired" with ethnic Albanians here to push through the new president contrary to the wish of the majority of the Macedonian people.


Trajkovski's victory was in the main a cause for celebration only to a columnist from the New Macedonia who maintained President Trajkovski's election brought "the necessary new spirit and new political image characteristic of the political philosophy of democratic states".


The other media, however, is more or less disappointed by the electorate's choice. The positions from which the President is being criticized, however, vary.


The weekly news magazine Forum which addresses the young intellectual Macedonian elite and flirts with the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE, claims that with the presidential elections, the party "was given such a slap on the face by its electorate that its cheeks are still burning".


Indeed, it reported, VMRO-DPMNE's candidate, Boris Trajkovski, won the election only "after the leader of Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), Arben Dzaferi gave orders that all Albanians should vote for him.


Forum maintains that during the first round of voting the ruling party received 100,000 votes less than during the parliamentary elections a year ago. In a Macedonian context, this ranks as a "dramatic loss" of support


The magazine further alleges that an unsavory alliance of groupings worked for Trajkovski in the western part of Macedonia alongside the predominantly Albanian population. This, it argued jeopardized not only "the basic principles of democracy - but also the reputation f the state".


Meantime, the opposition weekly Start states that Trajkovski was created by the head of his party Ljupco Georgievski as "a puppet in his hands as well as in the hands of the US Ambassador, Christopher Hill, because they are both Protestant!"


Even the weekly Denes which is close to the Liberal-Democratic party, one of the government's coalition partners, argues that Boris Trajkovski was "brought in by a mighty power which placed him as the head of the state".


Trajkovski, these media argue, does not have the right to represent himself as "the President of all the citizens", because he has left behind only "separation and hatred". According to Denes, he has humiliated the Albanians because he misused them and let them be labeled as "people who practice democracy as gangsters".


Most of the media reacted negatively to the congratulations of the western diplomats who had been sent to Trajkovski even before the problematic elections were over.


Macedonia expected that the European Commission would give a mandate for commencement of negotiations on the 20th of January about its stabilization and association as a member state - especially as Macedonia was judged a crucial ally during the recent NATO campaign. However, negotiations have been postponed. And now the media is bitter.


An editorial in the leading daily Dnevnik, states that it is a case of "political perversion", that the EU has since placed Macedonia in the same group as an isolated former Yugoslavia, although during the war against this country, Macedonia was used as a key base of logistic support".


Leading Macedonian intellectual, Venko Andonovski, a university professor sent EU Ambassador Hoze Pinto Teseira an "open letter", published in "Jutarnji list". Andonovski was particularly critical of Teseira's statement that Macedonians should "look after and develop a mentality whereby they alone solve their own problems".


Andonovski interpreted this to mean that Macedonia "should alone fill in the holes on the road that were caused by NATO vehicles, yet it cannot choose its own President".


The media could not avoid mentioning yet the sad modest presidential inauguration ceremony in Sobranje. There were no deputies from the leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Union, and four of the six presidential candidates did not show up.


Boris Trajkovski responds with optimism towards the wave of accusations. He declared that he hopes that once he leaves his party, VMRO-DPMNE, he will be accepted by all Macedonians.


Dragan Nikolic is a journalist in Skopje formerly with the Belgrade daily Nasa Borba.


Balkans, Macedonia
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