With growing infighting in the Alliance of Albanians party, its rival leaders Arben Taravari and Ziadin Sela are convening competing assemblies. Meanwhile, the DUI led Government plans to remove two ministers who support the opposition and replace them with loyalists.

Taravari, who is the current party leader, plans to gather his supporters in Kumanovo on Thursday. Taravari led the Alliance into the DUI – SDSM coalition a year ago, but has now decided that the party should ride the growing pro-opposition wave and challenge DUI in the coming elections for primacy in the Albanian camp. The Mayor of Gostivar and neurologist is considered as a presidential candidate of the united Albanian opposition, but his move prompted DUI to incite a rebellion in his party.

His rival, former party leader Ziadin Sela, wants to convene his supporters at the Bushi resort in Skopje on Saturday. Both sides are likely to claim that their assembly is legitimate and Sela can count on the support of the DUI led police in securing the party premises and seal. Sela would lead the party independently in the elections, meaning that its votes would likely dissipate and not contribute to the opposition bloc that challenges DUI.

Taravari was threatened with a bullet left in front of his home in Gostivar, and a pro-Sela official was attacked a few days ago in Tetovo. The Sela wing is also trying to replace Fatmir Mexhiti and Azir Aliu as mnister for healthcare and public administration – both are loyal to Taravari. The issue is that the eight AA votes in Parliament were crucial to getting SDSM and DUI over the 61 votes threshold to form a Government – depending on how the party group in Parliament splits, it’s possible that DUI and SDSM won’t have the votes to replace the two ministers, who are supposed to serve in a technical capacity and focus on helping organize the elections – Aliu’s role is especially important in this regard. Sela is proposing doctor Ilir Demiri, head of the Tetovo hospital, and Naim Bajrami to replace the two ministers in the 90 days that this Government has left.