1 Just as the elected officials declare at the Anti-Corruption Commission how much money and property they have when they enter politics, they should also declare at the State Election Commission how many citizenships they have when they enter politics. That’s the least that could be done, so in the future dual citizenship wouldn’t be an issue during the political campaign. And it would be useful for the parties to know who they run and who they support.
Maybe MPs, ministers, mayors, councillors and all elected officials aren’t bothered by the issue of having dual citizenship. Some don’t care. Some may see the official’s dual citizenship as an advantage. However, in this case, it’s useful to have that information before we go to the polls.
I don’t think that politicians should be obliged to give up their foreign citizenship if they want to hold public office, as is the case in other countries. However, as a voter, I’d love to know if the ones seeking my support to make decisions on my behalf have another motherland in addition to mine. When you’re an official, the issue of how many passports you have at home becomes public interest. We entrust them with managing public money. If they steal us blind, they’ll just run away to their other home.
There’s no room for getting mad here, no “black propaganda”, nationalism… As a voter, I want to make an objective assessment of the character who promises to do something for me, with my money, in my city and in my country. It’s as simple as that.
2It’s a rather sensitive issue for the voters, and for the parties as well, whether a candidate for public office has Bulgarian citizenship in addition to the Macedonian one. Especially now, when for the last two years Bulgaria has positioned itself as our enemy despite signing the Treaty on friendship and good neighbourliness. Because, not only are they blocking Macedonia’s European future, but they’re also denying the existence of Macedonians and the Macedonian language. As for the Bulgarian passports they gave away to Macedonians living here, they’re using it as their most powerful weapon against Macedonia. And they’ll keep using it.
We can try to rise above the situation as much as we want and preach about principles and legality. But let’s put things into context. Having Bulgarian citizenship is nothing to be ashamed of. However, there’s a difference in the perception of the public office that someone should hold if their second motherland is Bulgaria – the country that at this political moment is Macedonia’s greatest enemy. There’s a joke that we drove the ”Bulgarian administration” out with guns and might bring them back with a pen. Imagine if the joke came true.
Having said that, I must stress that I’m not talking about all those who humiliated themselves waiting in queues in front of the Bulgarian embassy in Skopje and the consulate in Bitola, all those who saved money for bribes, trying to get their hands on a Bulgarian passport of the EU so they could work in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy… They were fleeing from poverty. They don’t live in Petrich and they don’t run in the elections in Macedonia. I’m talking about the officials who are trying to win us over with ideas about patriotism and Macedonianness, although they sold their grandparents overnight by singing Bulgarian songs to Karakachanov’s clerks.
3 Gabriel Escobar, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary, said the US ambassador to Sofia was working on resolving the issues of human rights violations, answering a question in Congress about the problems of the Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.
There are 16 rulings by the European Court of Human Rights against Bulgaria for violating human rights and the right of the Macedonian minority to from an association, since Macedonian associations are not allowed to register.
At the same time, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov welcome in Sofia the representatives of the registered associations of Bulgarians in Macedonia and intensify their blackmails of Macedonia with a new demand – either Bulgarians will enter the Constitution or the accession talks with the EU won’t begin.
Bulgaria can fight for the rights of Bulgarians in Macedonia. Macedonia mustn’t fight for the rights of Macedonians in Bulgaria. These are the “European values” that are being discussed in the United States and in the US Congress, while in the EU they keep saying “they are inside, you are outside.”
4Thus, the municipal elections in Macedonia moved from bus transport, parks, kindergartens and garbage collection to geostrategic policies. At least that’s what Primer Minister Zaev announced, when he stated that if SDSM lost Skopje, he would resign. That statement didn’t instill optimism in all those he expects to vote for him. On the contrary, he encouraged all those who want to bring him down.
Hold on, Zaev. What sort of a message is that? It sounds defeated and arrogant at the same time. If you don’t like me, I won’t play with you anymore. Citizens expressed their opinion about the mistakes SDSM had made. But, it’s not like they strained themselves to provide support for VMRO-DPMNE. Only DUI won the same votes as in last year’s parliamentary elections.
In these municipal elections voters didn’t punish SDSM for not getting a date for the accession talks with the EU, but because they ruled carelessly and arrogantly and served only the party interests. They lost sight of the citizens’ interest, something that toppled VMRO-DPMNE just 5 years ago. After all, it doesn’t have to be an “all in” situation. It won’t hurt to see how VMRO-DPMNE and Levica will act together as part of the local authorities. SDSM, try to improve, show us that you’ve learned your lesson by putting it into action, try to win people’s affection once more. Let people compare how someone’s ruling now and how they used to.
At the end of the day, this Government was given the mandate to rule last year. Voters in the parliamentary elections voted for stability. And stability, among other things, means there shouldn’t be elections every single year.
Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski