TRANSNATIONAL PARTY OR…: WHAT DOES KURTI WANT IN NORTH MACEDONIA, AND WHAT DOES SELA IN KOSOVO?
In a small hall in Skopje’s Karposh neighborhood, in the cinema’s object opposite the High School, Nikola Karev, the party Vetevendosja held a rally on September 14. Its leader, Albin Kurti, was glad that the environment was overcrowded, but it was clear to him that the support in North Macedonia would have almost no impact on the outcome of the elections in Kosovo in 6th October.
In fact, since the appearance of the LVV on the public scene and then also on the political scene of Kosovo, this subject has always sought to have supporters and militants even outside the state where it was registered. Kurti has often been seen holding meetings and protests in Albanian-populated areas in North Macedonia, or supporting political movements in Albania.
He has supported, even participated in the protests of ethnic Albanians organized before 2016, after which two new parties emerged – BESA and the Alliance for Albanians. VV also supported the parties’ joint candidate for president of North Macedonia, Blerim Reka, who continues to be an influential figure in Kurti. Now, on the eve of the 6th October elections in Kosovo, Reka along with BESA, AA and Alternativa seem to repay Kurti’s debt. Ziadin Sela, leader of the Alliance for Albanians, has openly supported Prime Ministerial candidate Albin Kurti in a post on FB.
“We Albanians need a change. Albanians in North Macedonia have been living in monism for almost 18 years, hopeless, with schools which are being empted daily, with youth taking the path to emigration. Albanians in Kosovo in the election on 6th October are before a chance to bring changes, to make Kosovo even freer, more democratic, more justified and more normal. I don’t have any dilemas that Albin Kurti and his party Vetvendosja, can offer Kosovo (and not only) more and more from what I have written up, but this is not in Albin’s hand any more. “It is all up to you to support him on 6th October”, has written Sela.
Its not only Sela that interferes in other state’s elections, or Kurti which does the same thing in North Macedonia. Such cooperations are known earlier, for example in 2008 elections, when Hashim Thaci’s PDK openly supported Menduh Thaci’s PDSH, while Ramush Haradinajt’s AAK gave support to Ali Ameti’s BDI. After 2011 these alliances changed – Ahmeti supported Kosovo’s Thaci and Thaci’s North Macedonia supported Haradinaj.
But what VV is trying to achieve is installing a movement with the same platform and ideology as that of VV in North Macedonia, which would compete in next year’s parliamentary elections. Is this a well-known practice in the World? What national and regional consequences can a turbulent country such as the Western Balkans have? Could it affect the disintegration of North Macedonia? Can it also be seen as an interference of one state in the internal affairs of another, prohibited by Article 2.7 of the United Nations Charter, or international law? How can internationals react? How can it be understood by neighbors?
There are many questions that arise from these cross-border political movements. But cases of transnational parties are popular in the World, especially in Europe, which are based on ideological but not ethnic closeness. Transnational parties are political entities that have members in more than one state. The “The List for Cipras” (Cipras List) won two deputies in Italy’s last election, while it was founded with the support of the Greek party SYRIZA of former Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Cipras.
Ireland’s four parties – the Green Party, the Shin Fein, People before the Profit and the Labor Party – are parties that also run for the North Ireland Parliament, a state that is part of the United Kingdom. In the level of elections for the European Union (EU), there are a total of 11 European political parties organized on the basis of the values they represent and derive from the ideological profiling of political groups in the 28 member states of the Union. The high echo in the last EU parliamentary elections has further encouraged the formation of transnational parties.
At the global level, functions the transnational party, The Society of Muslim Brotherhood, or simply known as the “Muslim Brotherhood,” which seeks to bring democracy to an environment of religion, which is not a reality in Western democratic countries.
If VV and AA, or other parties from states where Albanians live, make these unions based exclusively on ethnicity, then it is expected to have regional and international reactions as a cause of the bitter past that ethnic projects have brought to history of Balkans. If this were a union for the formation of a transnational ideological subject, in the concrete case a left party (such as VV), that would promote the fundamental values of social democracy, then there would be a complementary movement with European values. In this case, there is a need for a clearer profile of the parties that would gravitate to such a movement. For now, neither VV nor AA have a clear ideological positioning, but move from left-to-right, depending on the topics they address in front of their electorate.